Reading in Room 851

Teaching reading is, by far, my favorite part of the day! I am currently implementing the Daily 5 (I use Daily 4 in my room) and CAFE into my literacy block and I LOVE it! This is my 3rd year using it and I finally feel like it is all coming together. Change always takes time! This is my CAFE board. I use a section of my white board. I needed a place the kids could reach to post their goals (see the different shaped post-its?) and I wanted it to be a focal point in the room.

My students have book boxes for their "just right" books and a binder for all their record keeping and assignments. This box stays with them all during the literacy time. The kids love "shopping" for books and filling those boxes!

It took several days for me to organize my classroom library into genres. I bought most of the baskets from Target, but some I already had. Some are hand-me-downs (love those).  I labeled the baskets, too. I had to round up some extra book shelves to house them all! I think my book collection is pretty extensive and I'm always adding to it. The public library sells used books, my students donate their gently read books.  I'm lucky enough to get books from my wish list at the book fair, free books from Scholastic Book orders, etc. Of course, I can't resist a good book if I see one at Barnes & Noble!  My room is not that big, but I make it work. I have bean bags (don't tell the fire marshall!), a rocking chair, cushions, a couple of folding camp chairs, and a tall bar chair. I want the kids to have some fun, comfy places to sit while they read and write. 

This is one of my MOST prized possessions! My Author's Chair! My media specialist shared this idea with me a few years back.  I take the canvas sections with me to reading and writing conferences, local book signings, etc.  The kids LOVE this chair. I tell them they are sitting with the best when they use it.  Whenever I share a read aloud, I point out the author's signature. I have Jeff Kinney, Henry Cole, Walter Dean Myers, Patricia Polacco, Ralph Fletcher, Lois Lowry, and tons more. I have actually started a second chair because this one is quite full.

The following four books are my "bibles" for my reading program: CAFE, The Daily Five, The Book Whisperer, and Guiding Readers and Writers in Grades 3-6. The last book is more of a resource, but it is the basis of my reader's workshop.

One of the goals for my 3rd graders is to read 40 books (got this challenge idea from the Book Whisperer). One simple way to keep track of that is a checklist. This is one of the record keeping sheets I use. Even if students don't get to 40 I feel like if they read more then the year before then they have made progress!

That is my literacy time in a very small nutshell! I will share more about my readers' notebooks in my next post! Thanks for stopping by!

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