Useful Documents for Davidson County Educators:
Classroom Library Guidelines:
· Libraries should include a large number of books
· 50/50 balance of fiction and non-fiction
· Variety of reading levels to meet the needs of every student
· Magazines, poetry books, newspapers, picture books, student created books, novels, and enlarged texts (for primary students) should all be included
· Variety of genres and topics in both fiction and nonfiction
· Books should be neatly organized by genres, series, and/or topics with covers facing out. Examples: Biographies, Folk Tales, Sports, Reptiles, etc. Consider inviting your students to sort and organize your book collection with you in order to promote awareness, excitement, and knowledge of authors and genres.
· Teachers may label the back of books with their Fountas and Pinnell reading level, as a "teacher's tool" for informal assessments and other instructional purposes.
· Books should be easily accessible to all students.
· Students select their own "personal collection" of books that are stored in individual bags, baskets, or boxes.
Instructional Tips for Helping Children Choose "Just Right" Books:
· Explicit lessons during Reading Workshop modeling how to choose books and discuss why we abandon books.
· Variety is critical if students are to develop the capacity to navigate a wide range of texts. Children need to read in a variety of genres, as well as on a variety of topics.
· Teach students how to use the five-finger rule as one way to select "just right" texts, in addition to consideration of background knowledge and comprehension.
· Confer with students individually or within a small group about choosing "just right" books.
· Encourage students when "book shopping" at the classroom library to select two "easy" books to build fluency, two or more "just right" books on a wide array of topics and genres that have enough depth to develop comprehension strategies.
· Students should be allowed to select books from any basket keeping in mind the tips and strategies they have been taught for selecting "just right" books.
Sources : Linda Hoyt, Literacy Specialists (2006)
Mosaic of Thought, Ellin Keene and Susan Zimmerman (2007)
Student Tips for Selecting Books