Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book Bins

Book bins: Here are the bins I purchased from Calloway House for my kids this year. They are actually file caddies in the catalog but I liked the size ( wide enough for picture books) and the holes on either side have made them easy to carry. They are definitely just making it right now as I am taping up the sides of some. I have to consider the wear and tear of my kids carrying, sometimes kicking, pushing their bins on a daily basis. I may try the book boxes from this company next year because they look stronger...of course they are a bit more expensive but I am hoping worth the few extra dollars.

Book Bins: Talking Through Book Choices
This week I sat down with one of my trickier kids to talk about the book choices that he keeps in his book bin. The book bins in our room serve as a home to the books my kids love to read, books that I am helping them find and books that I am asking them to read. I wanted to get a feel for what books D was choosing (other than the books that the reading recovery teacher or I am choosing for him i.e.guided reading books). I wanted to make sure he (D) had easy books he could read again and again as well as books that he just loves no matter what the level of difficulty. He explained his choices very well and we worked through some things.

We made a pile for different kinds of books:
His easy books : Shark in a Shack (easy leveled book) (he had two copies so he could read with a friend)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear ( I know this one)
F book
M book (both just smaller alphabet type books with pics and labels)
Days Like This (book of poetry) The poem "Bounce" is what is easy for me.
Bounce is the poem my kids loved coming back to again and again this year.

D wanted to put in The Lady with the Alligator Purse but after reading it, I helped him noticed that he had to stop and use tools for reading words in this book. He didn't fly through this like the rest of his easy books. He did notice it felt different.

We decided to put it in the just right pile with some of the other leveled books picked for him.

He came to 2 Froggy books and said, " You know I can read the FROGGY! part of these books and I picture read the rest. We decided to put them into a picture reading pile (instead of a too hard or hard pile). I know he loves this character and that he will find that in time he can find and read more words and then pages that he knows. I want him to know that he will read this book someday and the baby steps of reading one word brings him one step closer to accomplishing this.

He also likes the series by Tony Ross about the little princess. He had Wash Your Hands and I Want My Tooth in his bin and he told me right away they were for picture reading.

The work that we did with his book bin was powerful and we shared it with the class during reading workshop. Many readers went off to organize and think through their own collections. I will be coming back to this weekly as the year comes to an end. To me, my kids need constant conversations about what feels right to them as they grow and change as readers daily.


Karen said...

I love, love, love the idea of a "picture reading" pile. Your students are lucky to have you supporting them wherever they are, each and every day!! said...

I love these! Thanks for sharing an organizational system that makes your kids more independent and engaged!

Mary Lee said...

Yet another reason why I couldn't teach primary. Or several reasons, actually. 1. I don't know any of the books you mentioned and 2. I couldn't have possibly been that smart about sitting with a tricky reader to sort out a bin of books and 3. Every kid with a different bin of books!!!

Franki said...

I love this book choice stuff. Very smart. Love the picture book reading pile.

(I am also quite amused with Mary Lee's comment:-)