Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Read to Self

I've been out of school for a few days now but have yet to go into vacation mode.  Those of you who have followed me for awhile might remember that I'm teaching teachers tomorrow.  I'm ALMOST ready to go and am now just hoping for a good group.  
My morning class is on Daily 5 so when I saw Lory's Linky on Read to Self, I knew I had something to add to the conversation.  I also facilitated our district's book study on Daily 5 and my curriculum director was nice enough to get me a year subscription to The Daily Cafe (the official website from the 2 Sisters).
Right away, I noticed some changes when I went on their site.  
1.  They recommend starting with Read to Self and then introducing Work on Writing.  They don't have a specific order for the rest of the 5.

2.  They now recommend that you introduce choice after introducing Read to Self and Work on Writing.  The reason makes sense.  They want kids to feel comfortable making choices between only 2 things for awhile.  Then, as you add more of the 5, add choice between 3, 4 and finally all 5.  Before, I would wait to give choice until everything was introduced and it could be quite overwhelming for my kinders.

Back to Read to Self...
These are the books that I use when introducing the concept of a good fit book.

I also LOVE this video!

I used to only let my kids put 3-4 books in their bin but after looking at The Daily Cafe, I saw they should have between 8-15!  Good thing I have a big library!  My library has 36 bins that are arranged by topic.
I numbered the baskets (1-36) and put a little circle sticker in the top corner of the book so the kids know where to put the books when they are done.  There is a good mix of non-fiction and fiction books in each bin.
I also have another library for my leveled books but I forgot to snap a picture of that.  I have 18 bins (smaller) that are labeled by letter.  We use the Fountas and Pinnell system at our school.

For the kids, I use these bins from Really Good Stuff.
One of our old principals (that sounds strange but we have gone through 3 principals over the past few years) got each classroom a set.  I switched around with others so I only had yellow.  I labeled the front with these calendar pieces.

They keep their bin above their locker but I don't have a picture of that :(

Anyway, when I introduce the 3 ways to read a book, I use No David.  Some coworkers and I took a book apart and laminated the pages so we each had a "poster" of the book.  I love to use that book since the illustrations match the actual words so well.  

I then put them in a spot around the room (so they get used to the areas available) and we start the timer.  We practice stamina to 10 minutes.  It usually takes us a good two weeks to reach that time because I'm super picky.  If I someone talks or isn't reading their book, I ring my chime.

After we reach stamina, I also introduce some fun ways to Read to Self.  It was my goal last year to make Read to Self more appealing so....
I got the Reading Buddies holder and the laundry baskets at IKEA.  The pillows I found at a garage sale and I love that the cover can be washed.  They love the laser lights so much that I gave them as Christmas presents last year.

That's about it! 
 If you do Read to Self, link up with your blog post by clicking below.

By the way, Christina Bainbridge is celebrating her two year Blog-a-versary in a very big way!
The prizes are amazing.  Really.   Head on over NOW!

Wish me luck tomorrow! 


  1. Sara,

    I love your classroom organization. The classroom library and book bins inspire me to redo my book bins during the summer. Thanks for sharing!

    First Grade Schoolhouse

  2. I love how you spice up read to self! I will be getting my room some pointers, cool glasses, and whisper phones. My kids had 'buddies' this year and were so sad when they had to leave them. They love reading to their buddies!!


    Teacher Talk*

  3. I love how neat, clean and orderly your library looks. It has a nice calming affect. Thanks for sharing your Daily 5 activities and also for letting us know about starting with Read to Self and than going to Work on Writing. I was a member of their site for two years and last year decided not to renew.

    Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

  4. I love how you have organized your classroom library! I need to get started on mine!

  5. Thanks for sharing your Read to Self ideas. I love the white shelves and white baskets. I am almost finished redoing my library this year and was contemplating separating my leveled (AR) books from the themed baskets. Can your kids shops from leveled books and theme baskets for their book boxes?

    The Resourceful Apple

    1. Yes, they have to get half of their books from the interest area and half from the leveled area. They shop in both area. Good luck!

  6. I really want the plastic book holders! Last year I used the cardboard ones from Ikea...thankfully they survived the year but now I have to replace them. Thank you for sharing the new way the recommend introducing the stations. Makes sense to get them writing right away.

    Literacy Spark

  7. Thanks so much for linking up. You shared some fabulous stuff!!! I love the white shelves. I use them at home but had not thought of at school. Have you ever had them crash (maybe my children are a bit rowdy). I think the laundry basket idea is adorable. I've added it to my shopping list :)
    Thanks again for sharing!!

    1. Hi Lory, my shelves haven't fallen apart but I zip tied them together (at all the corners). That has helped a lot!

  8. Hello! I'm so glad I found your post--I LOVE that I PICK song, HOW cool... Thanks for sharing!

    I did the laundry baskets for the past two years. I bought cheap ones, but the kids unfortunately broke them both, so I'll have to check out ikea for some other ones. I sure loved having those for my kids. They loved the privacy! Yay Daily 5!

  9. I love the laundry basket idea! !! I am going to try that with my kinders this year! !