"Having children read to themselves is the first step in the Daily Five and is the foundation for creating independent readers and writers." In our classroom, the children will read Good Fit Books during this independent literacy activity. We will build our stamina beginning on the first day of school, from approximately a 3 minute block to one that will last up to 20 minutes.
In order to help foster a life-long love of reading, it is important that children read books that are on their independent level. This means that they are able to read most of the words (current research states that the accuracy rate should be 99%) and that they are able to understand (comprehend) what they are reading. In addition, it is very important to tap into a child's interest level and purpose for reading. The children will hear the term, Good Fit Book every day in our classroom. We will begin our discussion about how they can pick a book that makes sense for them by creating the following chart:
1. I choose a book.
2. Purpose: Why do I want to read it
3. Interest: Does it interest me?
4. Comprehend: Am I understanding what I am reading?
5. Know: I know most of the words.
We will refer to this chart throughout the year in our conversations about choosing a Good Fit Book. I encourage the use of the same language at home. In addition to the I Pick list above, the books in each child's book bag will reflect his/her DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) level.
The children will have a book bag beginning on the first day of school. The books in their personal bag will be Good Fit Books based on each child's DRA level and interests. I will choose the books that will be in the children's bags on the first day of school by taking into account their DRA level and/or other pertinent information provided to me by their kindergarten teacher/records. Each week thereafter, the children will make an independent visit to the library to choose one or two new Good Fit Books for their book bags. The children and I will work together to print out a book list that includes books on their DRA level. From this list, they will choose books that interest them. Each night, the children will bring the book bag home, and should return it to school the following day, since we will be reading the books during the Daily 5 and Guided Reading sessions. There is a record sheet in the bag that I am asking parents to please fill out each night. This information will help me make informative decisions regarding each child's reading instruction.
In addition to the independent visit that each child will make to the library weekly to change his/her book bag books, we will visit the library as a class. It is important to note that the books in each child's book bag are not the books that they choose during our weekly class library visit. While I remind children to choose a Good Fit Book during their library visit, this does not always occur. Therefore, library books that children bring home may not be on their independent level. I work closely with our librarian Mrs. Newton, who also encourages the children to use the I Pick method when choosing a book.
Reference: the daily 5, by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser
Image courtesy of: http://www.google.com/search?q=image+for+good+fit+book&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&