Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good Fit Books

Since I blogged last, I've started taking Foundations of Library and Information Studies, finally got AR up and running, and published my first school newsletter.  The following is an article that I wrote for the newsletter.  I changed the names of the students.

Students had fun learning about picking books that interest them, are on their level, and is just right for their purpose. To make it fun we compared “Good-Fit Books to picking out shoes.   We read Pete the Cat: Rocking in His School Shoes, and we talked about our school shoes.  Students agreed that wearing skates to school would not be a good idea.  We read other books about shoes, and talked about how choosing a book is like choosing shoes. 

Do I like it?  Does it interest me?  My pig slippers interest me, because I like pigs.  I have a small collection of pigs.  I would enjoy reading the Olivia books that we have in the library.  One of my favorite books is Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini.  Just because I like my pig slippers, and stories about pigs, does not mean that my best friend will be interested in pigs.

Does it fit? It is not too easy or too hard.   My pig slippers fit me.  They were not too small or too big.  When Ray tried on my slippers, they were too big.  Although Ray might like books about pigs, he probably would not be able to read Charlotte’s Web about Wilbur the pig. A “Good-Fit” book for Trey might be If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff.  Choosing a book that is too easy or too hard will not help us become good readers.  My pig slippers are comfortable to me, but my granddaughter’s tap shoes were too small.  I would not be comfortable in her shoes.

Does it help me?  Is the book right for what I want to do?  Duncan tried to play basketball in my fancy high heels.  It did not work.  My pig slippers did not help me play basketball or tap dance.  Fourth graders are not going to read Good Night Moon to learn about the moon phases. 

I hope the shoe lesson will help students remember to pick books that interest them, fit, and help them with their purpose for reading.  The lesson was adapted from The Daily 5: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades, by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.

The students have been decorating "browsing sticks".  I will share how we plan to use the sticks in a later post.

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