Monday, August 16, 2010
My requirement for my fifth graders is they must have 2 books checked out from the library. One of them must be a just right reading book and the other I allow them to be a book of their choice. Many of my students love the Guiness books or drawing book and those are great, but a little difficult to write reading responses on.
Just right reading books are the perfect reading level for the individual reader. I teach this by relating it to the fairytale-Goldilocks and the three bears. I inform my 5th graders that really the story has changed through the years and the original was all about finding the perfect book. I retell the story about ol' Goldilocks going into the bears' home. She went straight to the library upstairs across from baby bear's bedroom. She is astonished by all the books she sees on the shelves. Fiction, non-fiction, biography...wow. The books are everywhere. On the table in the middle of the room are three books. The first book had all these big words she couldn't pronounce. It was way too hard to read. The second book on the table was her favorite Dr. Seuss book. In fact, she knew it by memory. It is an easy book, but fun to read. The next book was a chapter book. How Goldilocks loved chapter books. She picked it up and began to read. Never stumbling over difficult words. She was able to see the movie in her mind as she read. She loved this book. She had found her just right book.
Now, I don't stop there. Students have to see me in the library before they check out and we look at the book together. They essentially have to prove to me why it is their perfect book. I meet with students regularly and check on the books they are reading independently.