Tag Archives: Just Right Books

Reading Update

We wrapped up our unit on characters, this past week.  It was so much fun to spend dedicated time thinking and sharing what our characters were doing and feeling and what those actions made us think.  It was a great unit for exploring all the wonderful fiction books that we have in our classroom.

We will continue to track and share our thinking about characters throughout the rest of the year, but we did move on to a new unit of study toward the end of the week.  The kids had a blast going through all our nonfiction books in the classroom.  We talked about some ways that they are different than fiction stories (we will learn SO many more in the weeks to come) and we also talked about where to find them in the classroom.

We spent some time reminding the kids how important it is that when we are reading independently, we have books that are JUST RIGHT for us as readers, and that goes for nonfiction books as well.  So, we refreshed our memory on the FIVE FINGER RULE.    The students pick a book and then open to any page.  They read one page and every time they come to a word they don’t know, they would put one of their fingers up.  If they were left with no fingers up at the end of that one page, then the book is too easy.  If they were left with 4 to 5 fingers up, the book is too tricky.  If they have 1, 2 or 3 fingers up, then the book is ‘Just Right!’

Mrs. Stadt :)

Reading Update

This week, we began readers’ workshop.  This is such a wonderful time in our classroom.  We have enjoyed reading some great stories together and we have started building the foundation of a Five Star Reader for their independent reading time.

A Five Star Reader…

Finds a spot to read and STAYS there!

Reads quietly!

Warms up to a book and thinks about what might happen.

Points to the words!

and…Reads the WHOLE time!

Just like great readers do, the kids have learned how to pick books that interest them and is  Just Right for them.  We used the five finger approach.  The students pick a book and then open to any page.  They read one page and every time they come to a word they don’t know, they would put one of their five fingers down.  If they were left with no fingers up at the end of that one page, then the book is too tricky.  If they still have fingers up, then the book is Just Right!  It has also been fun to see their confidence and enthusiasm build with their independent reading time as we practice picking out and reading books each day.


Mrs. Stadt :)


Reading Update

This week, the kids transitioned into reading in three blocks of fifteen minutes.  So they are getting a total of 45 minutes of independent reading each afternoon right now.  The students have become accustomed to filling their book boxes each Monday with a mixture of Just Right books (they can read the words in these books), picture books (they can read the pictures in these books), songs/poems, and some kids have sight words that they keep in their book boxes too.  The first graders get absorbed in these reading materials during our reading workshop.

This week, we added lots of new tags up to our Reading Cafe Menu to help remind us of the strategies that we have learned that will help us be better readers.  We added Flippy the Dolphin under accuracy to help remind us that vowels can make many different sounds.  Under fluency, we added picking out just right books, using our pointer fingers, and our Friday book share.  All of these strategies help us to sound like fluent readers (reading smoothly and expressively).  And under comprehension, we added our Shape GO! Map.  This is a tool that helps the students remember all the key factors of a story in order to retell the story to someone…it helps us know if they are understanding what they read.

Check out the pictures of us being fluent readers during our book share:

Mrs. Stadt :)


Reading Update

We sent home our first WEB book on Friday.  Please read through the WEB Parent Letter that came home in the baggie to get more information about the WEB reading routine.  Thanks for taking the time to read and send back those books each day.  Thanks to all of our helpful volunteers who will begin reading with our students next week!

This week, the students have worked hard to make sure they are picking JUST RIGHT books when they fill their book box.  We talked about how our brains aren’t working when we have books that are too easy, so the kids are finding books that have a few (not too many!) tricky words in them.  But to support their reading, we have begun to learn new tricks that readers use when they come to a tricky word.  We have addressed pointing to the words as you read, getting your mouth ready for the first few sounds of the word (Lips the Fish), using the picture clues (Eagle Eye), and  stretching out the sounds of a word (Stretchy the Snake).  If you hear them talking about these strategies, encourage your student to use these strategies while they read their WEB books to you at home.  Use this time to work on rereading the stories until your child can read the words smoothly, as if they were talking.  The more fluent a reader they are, the higher their comprehension will be.

We have now addressed two out of the four areas of our Shape GO! Map: triangle (characters, setting, problem) and heart (lesson or intent).  When you read at home, take time to ask your child who the characters are and what the setting of the story is.  These questions will open their minds up to finding these important qualities in all the books they read.

Mrs. Stadt :)