Monday, November 1, 2010

Just Right Books

I most often use this blog to write about our work in Writing Workshop. We also do a lot of reading work in our group. Just as in Writing Workshop, I do mini-lessons that focus on different aspects of reading. One of the first lessons I do is on choosing “Just Right” books, the kinds of books that will help the students’ development as readers the most. A Just Right book is one in which a student is interested. It is also a book that the student can read almost all of easily, figuring out the few words that he/she does not already know. And it is one that the student can understand. It doesn’t leave the child wondering what it was about.

This doesn’t mean that it isn’t helpful at times for children to read, and re-read, and easy book. Easy books support the child’s ability to read smoothly and with expression. Re-reading also allows a child to notice details that may have been missed the first time through. And, of course, children will often be attracted to hard books, especially if the topic is one that is compelling or of particular interest. Those are great books to read with a parent, teacher, or partner to help.

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