Friday, July 5, 2013

Writing and Reading with Class Books

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Hope you're all enjoying a great summer!

Do you make books with your class? From preschoolers on up through second grade, using templates for writing class books is an easy way to address standards in writing, reading, and even, as you'll see here, math!

I like to start class books by building some common background, whether it's through a readaloud or class discussion. As you see every day in school, if you push the right buttons, every child has an opinion or experience to share on most any topic, but even the more reluctant ones are likely to have something to contribute if you spend some time setting the stage for writing. What if you still have some "I don't know what to write" kiddos? One of my favorite techniques for that is to set up "turn and talk" buddies, even switching buddies a few times if necessary to get ideas for writing cooking in each and every brain.

Most of the books that I've made early in the year with my first grade literacy intervention class have involved each student writing their name, often in the context of a sentence,  and also completing a slotted sentence. Sometimes for extra support in their writing, we'd do some shared writing of a chart together, so they could refer back to it for support. 

Other times, I'd work in a small group with a few students at a time. Maybe you're lucky enough to have some parent volunteers who could help! :) Here are a few sample templates.


The other two ingredients in my recipe for class books are a cover and a math component. I like to do a related class tallying and/or data collection activity, like these examples. They make a great last page for your class book.

Here are a few ideas for binding your books.

*Laminate cover and pages after completing with students, and assemble as a book using binding combs (like GBC), looseleaf rings, or even pipecleaners.

*Hole punch completed pages and put in a 3-ring binder or portfolio, taping the cover to the front.

*Put completed pages into plastic binder sleeves for increased durability.

After repeated shared readings, add the books to your classroom library. You might even start a special bin of books titled “Our Class Books” or “Books by Local Authors”.

Children enjoy sharing these books with their parents. When you’ve accumulated enough titles, start sending them home in rotation. It’s fun to bind a page into the back of each book with a class list, encouraging families to write what they thought of each book. 

Since your students will see their own page as well as their friends' pages every time they reread these books, they'll be highly motivated to read them again and again. Frequent rereading will build good text strategies like directionality, return sweep, one-to-one match, and self-monitoring. Repeated exposure to sight words will strengthen automaticity. The repetitive patterns of these books also promote fluent reading. There are so many literacy benefits for your little learners!

Since you've patiently read through these ramblings, here are two free class books for you! Just click on the covers to download.

The first one is similar to one of the books in my Back to School Class Books resource, but this one has the added element of completing a ten frame for each name - woohoo, subitizing! :)


Here's the second one! Could it be that this literacy project will satisfy a health objective for you at the same time? Hmmm....

Enjoy these freebies, and have fun making class books!

Click here to see a year long collection of books to make with your class!
Happy Teaching!



1 comment: