Disclaimer... and credit where credit is due!

This blog is simply my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions related to the Daily Five and Cafe. I give full credit to the creators of both Daily 5 and Cafe, Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, also known as The Sisters. I have attended their workshops, read their books, and subscribe to their website. Everything else, I've interpreted on my own! :)
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Easing into our shopping routine...

We have been shopping for books since our second week of school. It's important to me that students begin to take ownership of their learning and start becoming independent early! We started the year with book tubs that I had created for each first grader, based on information given to me by their Kindergarten teacher. Then, after teaching them the I-PICK method and reviewing good fit books, they began shopping for books to fill their book tubs. We shop for books once a week (on Fridays) for about 20 minutes. Choice is SO incredibly powerful in motivating readers! My little readers started off with limited choice. So far, they have been shopping from the teeny tiny leveled portion of my library. I did a huge library reorganization project this summer, thanks to inspiration from my friends Nicole and Jacquie, as well as the book Beyond Leveled Books by Franki Sibberson, Karen Szymusiak, and Lisa Koch. I now use these few leveled book tubs as the training ground for learning how to shop for appropriate texts.
Our good-fit book
training ground

These used to be my leveled book boxes
that kids use when shopping for books.



Today was a giant step for us! I am starting to release them into "the wild." As you might imagine, shopping for books from our classroom library could potentially be overwhelming. So... I am gradually releasing that responsibility to them. I asked them to continue to choose from the box of books but then asked them to choose books from the library, too. If I was fairly confident they would be able to find a good fit book on their own, I asked them to choose 5 from the library and the rest from the dotted books. If I think they still need some guidance, I asked them to choose 1 or 2 from the library and the rest from the dotted books. Eventually, I am willing to guess that we will no longer need the training grounds and will have full access to choosing books from the classroom library. After all, when was the last time you walked into your local independent book store and asked where the "Level D" books are located? ;)

One section of our classroom library that we usually refer to
as our "Wall of Books"

Here is what I heard today as I consulted with kids during our book shopping time...

Can you help me find a book about pumpkins?

Wait... do you mean I can have a graphic novel in my book tub?!

I like this one, but it has too many words for me.

Is it okay if I take two Flying Beaver Brothers books?

I'm looking for a chapter book. Can you help me find one?

These are too easy.

What books do you think I'll like?

I want this one, but I can't read any of the words!

Yes!! I love Elephant and Piggie books.

I can read the pictures in this book.

I think I need to read more easy books.

Yep, I walked around with a big, goofy grin on my face as I heard all of these comments and questions. These are the beginning signs that we are on our way to becoming thoughtful, excited shoppers and readers!


  1. Wow! They must have been so excited to begin choosing on their own. I love how you differentiate for their needs. My space is limited so I am very jealous of your "wall of books". Great pics!

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