What better pursuit in summer than a little pleasure reading? This summer students in my multilevel class will explore some independent reading.
I have a small library of readers from all sorts of presses. It represents a variety of texts –non-fiction and fiction with levels from emerging reader up to third grade level. These are small readers students can tuck into their bags and read on their commute.
Choosing the Right Book
Pleasure reading is about getting caught up in a story. To this end, I make sure students choose books that they can read with
ease. To gauge the level appropriateness of a book, have the student read one page of text. If the student encounters more than five unknown words on the first page, it is too high for pleasure reading.
Once a week, we gather around our trove of books and students point out the ones they recommend . . . or not. The objective is to engage students in talking about books. Then students select a book they want to read outside of class. When a student returns a book, s/he can choose another one.
To bring this up to a notch, I’ve added an element I’ve learned from consumer websites such as Amazon or Netflix. After each book, students write reviews, which I post on the classroom walls for their classmates to survey. Here is a sample.