Supporting Book Choice Through Read Aloud
The most recent read aloud is always a hot item in our classroom. Lately, everyone wants to be one of the first students to take home the newest books we read. I'm not sure, but I think they've even worked out their own systems for passing the books along to the next reader.
This morning was no different. Before I was able to hold up the morning read aloud up for students to see, hands were flying into the air.
Glancing at my students like I have no idea why everybody has their hand up I call on David. The book I am holding is "There Are NO Cats In Here" by Vivian Schwarz.
I'm just starting to win David over in reading. He began the year saying, "I don't like to read. I can't read." I've slowly proven to him that he very well can read. He likes books about sharks and only sharks, but I know he wants to be part of this reading community and everyone wants this book. This book is about something other than sharks, and it is a book he will be able to reread after hearing it in our read aloud. I would love nothing more than to see David take this book home.
"Can I take home that book today?" he asks pointing at the book in my hands. "You don't even know if you are going to like it," I joke. "I haven't even read it yet." David assures me he will love it so I tell him I will give it to him after we share it.
It's a Reader's Choice
In our classroom, students choose the book they want to take home to read each evening from our classroom library. As beginning readers I want them to have opportunities to practice their reading, but more importantly I want them to be develop a love of reading. For this reason, students choose the book they will take home each evening during Reader's Workshop. Books are checked out from our classroom library, student reading bags, table baskets, shared reading collections, and even student-authored texts.
After making a selection students record the book title and date on their booklog. This helps me to remember which book they have checked out for the evening. Students then place the book inside the folder (if it fits) for me to check at lunch. At lunch I walk quickly around and make sure the title they have written matches the book. The student booklog serves as a record sheet of the choices students have made.
Students take the book home to read and return it the next day. In the morning I will quickly walk around to check in books by initialing beside the returned title. Students put their books back in the classroom library; or pass them to a friend.
Benefits of Self-Selection
- Students are motivated to read, select, and share books.
- Students enjoy making recommendations to one another.
- Students learn about authors.
- Students discover a variety of genres and topics.
- Students are better able to select books at the library or bookstore.
- Students can talk about books.
- Students learn to balance their reading (difficulty, genre, topic, etc.).
- Students have choice.
- Develops a community of readers.
- Parents learn about book choice.
If you are interested in choice, you might want to read: