Instructional Decision-Making Before Reading During/After Reading Letter/Word Work Reading/Writing Connections

Facilitator Notes

The books we choose deeply affect our struggling readers’ success in developing as readers.  In the first part of Book Choice, teachers explain the most important factors they consider in choosing books, with examples spanning from emergent to transitional text levels.  In the second part, we delve deeper into this topic, as one teacher weighs the effectiveness of her book choice and explains how she made adjustments based on running records and lesson observations.

See also Video: Using the Analysis to Choose a New Book Example 1 and Example 2, in the Instructional Decision-Making Section of this module.


How do we choose appropriate books for struggling readers?

How do we use observations and running records to adjust book choice?


How do we choose appropriate books for struggling readers? 

Video: Introduction to Book Choice; Transcript
Maryann McBride, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader

Video: Book Choice, Level 4; Transcript;
First Grade, Emily Garrett



Video: Book Choice Level 10/11; Transcript
First Grade, CC Bates

Video: Book Choice Transitional Readers; Transcript;
Second Grade, Ashinique Owens, Level 16

Second Grade, Elizabeth Arnold, Level 20



How do we use observations and running records to adjust book choice?

Facilitator Notes

Reading Recovery/intervention teacher, Katie Babb, Springfield Elementary School, Greenwood, SC, has been meeting with a group of first grade children for 4 weeks, 5 days/week, since the beginning of the year.  On their initial assessments, they could not read a Level 1.  They used meaning and structure, but did not attend to the print when they read.  Ms. Babb has worked with them on making a 1-1 match, on letters and sounds, and letter formation, all of which have improved but are not yet firm.


Supporting Documents: Little Chimp and Big Chimp text transcript;  Jack and Billy text transcript; Jack and Billy running record; Previous student running records; Lesson observational notes


How did the teacher evaluate her book choice based on observations of her children’s reading?

Video: Observations from Level 4 Text; Transcript
Katie Babb, First Grade

What did the teacher learn from examining previous running records that further influenced her decisions about book choice?

Video: Examining Previous Running RecordsTranscript
Katie Babb, First Grade

Watch the excerpts of the Level 3 lesson.  Then examine a student’s running record.
How did it help the teacher evaluate her decision to drop down to Level 3?

Video: Reading the Level 3 Book; Transcript
Running Record
Video: Conclusions from the Running Record; Transcript
Katie Babb, First Grade