Monday, 5 September 2016

Changing up the Reading Corner

As summer winds down, I spent some time changing up a section of my reading corner. Before I had bins of themes (animals, bugs, Robert Munsch, Mo Willems, etc) and Leveled Books (A, B, C).
For Daily 5, students would pick some books they could read the pictures in and some books they could read the words in. After assessments and conversations, I would guide them towards a letter bin that had books that were just right for them to select, to read the words in. They would also choose a book from Home Reading from that bin.

I found that no matter what conversations we had, students were concerned with what letter they were in or another student was. While I was telling them that the letter didn’t matter, these books were just right for them to become a better reader, it didnt help. I wanted to set up the library to reflect real life. Where you are not going to find a “B” bin when you go to Chapters or the Public Library. I didn’t want parents to become obsessed with their childs lettter either. Noticing whether or not it was changing or going up.

So after reading a lot of stuff from Fountas and Pinnell, I decided to change up those bins. I still wanted to know what “Letter” per say, each bin was, but I didn’t want my kids to know. My theme bins were already by number, so I decided to switch the letter bins to carry on with that. They are not in order, just jumbled up, yet I know what each bin is.

Here are some tidbits of wisdom from F and P on Twitter that solidified why I was changing it up.

“The most important characteristic of a book is not its level, but its quality and appeal to readers.”
-Fountas and Pinnell

“Levels are a teachers tool, NOT a childs label.”
-Fountas and Pinnell

“The gradient and set of levelled books are instructional tools for teachers who understand them-nothing more.”
-Fountas and Pinnell

“You would not want parents to be concerned that a student is not reading on a precise level all of the time. That would not be desirable.”
-Fountas and Pinnell

So…here is the new set up. I just continued on with the numbers I had already for the bins. I put the old letters on the bottom for my own reference. I have a seperate list as well which says which is which. I will still teach children how to pick books that they can read the words in and have conversations to steer them to just right books. However, they can no longer compare letters as the bins are mixed up. “A” is number 45 while “H” could be 35. Hopefully, this helps to make the whole Reading Corner more uniformed and allows students to find just right books through careful selection, trial and error, interest and choice.

What are your thoughts?

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