Home Reading Program
When I inherited my classroom, it was completely bare…and when I say bare, I mean there was nothing in it. It was great because I had so many layout options to work with and was able to decorate the classroom however I wanted, but it was not so great for resources. I knew I wanted to have a home reading program but I did not have any books to send home. Students were using the books they checked out from the library. That made it difficult for me to ensure that students were reading at level books and it became a problem when students had overdue books and were not able to check out new books. THAT is when and why I decided to create my own little books. I knew that this would allow me to print off as many copies of each book as I needed and that I would have enough to be able to switch out their books every week by rotating them between students. It was not ideal, but when you don’t have a lot of options, you have to work with what you have and this was the best way for me to guarantee that students went home with something to read every week.
Sometimes, I also gave students the student booklet that went with their book for them to work on throughout the week. This then became part of their weekly homework and was a great way to practice their reading comprehension and writing, especially for students who are reading above grade level and benefit from the extra activities.
When I made the shift from teaching junior to primary, I was very fortunate to be at a school with a decent selection of readers. However, you eventually start running out or just need a change. I started using my readers for guided reading as well. To save time and ink, I only printed three copies of each book. The students usually share the book with a partner when we work in our small groups. While these readers are not levelled like the ones in our reading room, I wrote them with the strengths and needs of my grade 2/3 class in mind. While some of the readers may be a little challenging for a couple of students and too easy for my students achieving above grade level, I try to focus on reading strategies, comprehension, guided writing and the activity that I choose to work on with each group. For example, even if I use an easier book with my highest reading group, I can choose a rich task or question to compliment the reader.
Since my set of readers will include 25 readers, I keep a few in our classroom library. Each reader has a set of comprehension questions and discussion questions attached to the back of it. Students are able to choose a book and independently answer the questions attached to it. They really enjoy going through the questions with a partner and take turns asking one another the questions.
5 au quotidien
During my “cinq au quotidien” rotations, I have a station called “comprehension de lecture”. I like to rotate the activities in that center between short reading comprehension texts and my readers. Each reader also includes a student activity booklet. The booklet includes a set of comprehension questions, followed by four activities. Both of these activities are simple enough for students to complete independently when I am working with a small group on guided reading.
If you are interested in checking out this set of readers, CLICK HERE.