The Texts Section is divided into two parts, with questions under each part and videotaped responses from researchers, teachers, and/or students to each question. Occasionally, clips repeat responses given in interviews in the Sample Lessons. Clips of classroom practice are labeled “Classroom in Action”. The transcript of the clip may also facilitate discussion.
We suggest viewing all the clips under one question, having teachers take notes while they view, and then discussing the clips (with partners, small or large groups) before moving to the next question.
See also Suggested Reading for information you may want to provide for discussion during the Session, or as follow-up after.
Why are classroom libraries important?
How do you organize your classroom library?
What other materials in addition to books are available for Independent Reading?
Research clearly suggests the importance of extensive, varied, and inviting classroom libraries. This part of the Section explores how teachers develop and organize their classroom libraries.
PREPARATION: For an overview of this topic, reference the “Book Choices” slide show in the Guided Reading Module on this website: https://readingrecovery.clemson.edu/lesson/part-3-book-choices-834/
- Discuss the research cited under “Why are Classroom Libraries Important?”.
- Discuss how teachers currently accumulate books for classroom libraries, and brainstorm ways to add to classroom collections. (You might rather do this at the end of the Section.) Some ideas:
- Business partners
- Parents and community donations
- Library book sales
- School and public libraries
- School funds
DURING VIEWING: Teachers may want to jot notes about the ways the teachers interviewed organize their libraries.
- What were commonalities among the ways the teachers organize their libraries? What were the differences and how do these reflect grade level/class needs?
- Discuss questions, insights, and additions from teachers’ own experiences.
- With partners or in small groups, discuss refinements to how participants organize their classroom libraries.
How do you teach children to choose appropriate books for Independent Reading?
Should teachers also choose some of children’s books for Independent Reading?
How do you use Just Right books and Look books?
What are some effective techniques to interest children in choosing books?
When do children choose books?
How do children keep their individual books for Independent Reading?
PREPARATION: If you have access to No More Independent Reading Without Support (See Suggested Reading), you might want to provide the table “Questions to Consider When Guiding Student Choice” on pg. 51 for the discussion below.
DURING VIEWING: Guiding Questions and Talking Points:
- What factors go into making a book “just right” for a child to read?
- “Just right” is not only about a specific level. Factors such as background knowledge, interest, layout, text features all make a difference. And purpose for reading plays a large role. Among the “Questions to Consider When Guiding Student Choice” Miller and Moss (2013) provide are: “Could a book that’s easy to read be just right for a child working on fluency? Could a book above a child’s level be just right if he has extensive background about its content and/or is highly motivated to read it?”
- Why is it important for children to understand the difference between a Just Right book and a Look book?
- If we want children to choose most of their own books, we need to teach them to do it wisely so they won’t waste their time in IR. Children need to preview and think about books, not just pull one at a certain level.
- There is a place in IR for children to read “look books” that they can’t fully decode yet, but the balance should tip towards books they can read, especially as their reading capabilities develop.
- What are your thoughts about the techniques demonstrated (Book Baskets and Book Frenzy) for motivating children’s desire to read?
- Discuss responses to the Guiding Questions.
- Share other ideas and organizational tips from the participants related to book choice.
- Teachers might spend time with partners or small groups planning implementation of any suggestions from this part of the Section, such as organizing their libraries, how children keep their individual books, when they choose them, and/or techniques to interest children in books.