One of the largest problems we face in third grade is the children not knowing HOW to choose a good book. Sounds pretty simple, but...put yourself in the mind of a sweet little 8 year old. "Wow, this book looks good...I think I will read it." And so they begin. BUT, can they understand the book? Do they know most of the words in the book? Is it a book about something that interests them? Well, many times...they do not know. How can a child learn to LOVE reading when they don't know what to read? 3rd grade isn't always about teaching a child to read (although I have had to do that some as well) but mainly is it about how to teach them to LOVE reading. (It's an ugly monster we battle all year.) Let's face it...TV and Video Games have it all over books...we can't compete. However, there is a glimmer of hope! If a child can truly learn HOW to choose a book that fits them...then they may...just may learn to LOVE reading.
Anyway, on to my point! I made this anchor chart in hopes to help the kids remember how to choose a "just right" book. We talk all year about the different strategies for finding a book that fits them the best...I hope this ties it all into one anchor chart for my reading corner that will help the kiddos when they go choose a book. The first week of school we will talk about the I PICK anchor chart--and we will practice looking at it each time before we choose books. Here is a picture of the anchor chart. It will of course hang in my classroom (laminated) but for now...it is at home safely waiting for a place on my classroom walls. Oh and above it...it will say...(in bulliten board letters) HOW WE CHOOSE A JUST RIGHT BOOK...and I hope you see the main point here...the kids pick! I am not choosing books for them, hense the title of the chart-- I PICK! :)
The first thing they must do is choose a book but when the do they need to ask themselves "Why do I want to read this? and Does it interest me?" after that...the students need to make sure that when they start reading it...they can understand what they are reading. Also...they need to make sure they know the words. (We use the 5 finger rule in my classroom) If they have more than 5 mistakes on one page, the book is probably too hard.
I know this post is rather lengthy, but it is something I am really passionate about. While this anchor chart of course is not going to teach the kids to LOVE reading, I hope it aids them in the process of know what is best for them when choosing a book. :)