Take-Home Reading Libary

You might have seen my pile of books on our Instagram.  I just bought some more books for my take-home reading books library.  These books were $50 for 50 from Scholastic (they do this promotion every few months and sometimes they have 25 books for $25 when you order from Book Orders)!  That is such a great deal!  The books are perfect for my take-home reading library (they come in grade-level variations).  I bought two Kinder-2nd boxes and one grade 3-4 box.  I've also purchased books from the local thrift store and yard sales! A book is a book, people!

And then I stick them all with a label of my name on the inside and an apple on the outside.  I'll write the level on the apple. 

Ahhh... leveling.... good times. NOT.  Many of the books are leveled on Book Wizard, but some are not.  When they are not leveled on there, I must level them myself.  This takes practice (and trial and error), but I just get a book from each level out of my library and I compare it with the book I'm leveling. Clear as mud?  So back to Book Wizard... search the book (they have an App, but it sucks- plain and simple! So use the online version) and PRAY that it's in the system. This is something a parent volunteer or husband or child could do for you! If the book/reading level is in the system it is ready for your library all leveled and wonderful.  If it's not, feel free to yell curse words at your computer (after school, of course). 

 I give two books to each student (their independent level).  Their parent initials once they've read the book and answered some comprehension questions (provided on the back of their folder). In my 6 years of doing this, I've only had 3 books lost.  Parents are fined the cost of the book if it is lost. 

 When they are ready to get new books, they turn them in here and I'll switch them out during recess (or you can for sure have a parent be in charge of this if you are lucky to have volunteers). 

 Right now, this is my "book shopping" shelf that my students use during Daily 5 because we have our own grade-level take-home reading library. But before we had that luxury, I used these books as my take-home readers.  

I'm in search of new bins to hold my books. I'm not a fan of the shoe boxes anymore.  Any recommendations? 

I keep track of what book each student gets on a log. That way they don't get a book more than once.  It takes honestly 20 seconds to switch out a student's book. 

My students and parents LOVE that I send home take-home reading books. In this pack, I explain EVERYTHING you need to know about how to set up a take-home reading system in your classroom!

This pack gives you everything you need to learn how to set up a take-home reading system in your class!  Just add books!

Included in this pack:
  • Folder Front Covers (5 options and customizable)
  • Reading at Home Folder Back Cover Letter (4 options)
  • Parent Reading Log Form
  • Teacher Reading Log Form
  • We Need Your Books Back (letter)
  • Pictures of folders and examples
  • Tips and Tricks
  • How to Build up Take-Home Library


cshinn said...

For finding level of the book go to www.renaissance.com. Even if your school doesn't use Accelerater Reader. Click on store in the right hand corner and then Quiz Search in the blue box under Quiz store. You can search by title, author or ISBN number. You can search here without having the program or buying anything.

Dawn Sunderman said...

How did you find out about the Scholastic promotion?

Al@PolkaDotsandPaisley said...

I've had some success with book retriever for levelling books. It's an app and, like the others I've tried, it doesn't have everything but it might be worth checking out.

Jessica said...

I'll have to do the 50 for 50 next year (or the 25 for 25). I use the Really Good Stuff book boxes for my classroom library, color coding it by fiction / nonfiction.

Here's a post on it.

What I Have Learned

Suzanne said...

I'm anxious to purchase the library rack from Really Good Stuff. The one I want is about $170. Right now, my classroom library books are organized in the same shoe boxes you are. Since the plastic containers are facing sideways on the shelves, they take them down to search for a book and then put them back. It's not a good method. The rack I'm hoping to purchase will have them facing forward, but it only has 7 containers to hold the books. I'll probably have to keep some on a bookcase still. Also, Renaissance place's free book look up is called AR Bookfinder. They are updating their program to include Lexile levels. I just found out about a website called TumbleBooks. It's free, and the students can interact with books that are at their level. So excited to try it next year!!

Gladys said...

LOVE this post! A take home reading library sounds amazing! :)

Mrs. Griffith said...

We have a literacy library that we send home readers from. I'm taking on the project of leveling my classroom library this summer (UGH!). I SO wish I would have known about the promotion! I need more books

Zoe said...

I am definitely setting up a classroom library in my next holidays. I haven't found any boxes I like yet though, that aren't SUPER expensive.
Love your take home reader pack, am going to check it out!


Mrs. Wheeler said...

This is great! I bet your students love getting to take home books that are not just guided reading books! Great system!

Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade

Mrs. Wheeler's TPT

www.jwhit.com said...

Sweet Lord, how badly I need to organize my reading books by level! Kind of wish I had brought them all home this Summer to work on them. I'll find time/help around the beginning of the year. Cheers. Happy Summer!

Lindsey said...

I LOVE this take home reading idea. As I begin my second year of teaching in August, I will be trying to implement this into my kindergarten classroom. Thanks for sharing!

Renita Salinas said...

I'm the reading specialist on my campus, and at the beginning of last year I went in to EACH and EVERY classroom and leveled their classroom libraries! Whew!! I found a lot of the book levels on Bookwizard, and even just googling the title along with 'guided reading level'. Then, I bit the bullet and paid the $25 to purchase access to the Fountas and Pinnell book leveling site. That site had a lot of trade books (e.g. Sunshine, Capstone, Rigby, etc.) And finally, like you, I also went ahead and leveled the readers that came with our reading basal (English - Reading Street, Spanish - Tesoros, plus old readers from McMillan, Steck-Vaughn, Lectura, etc.) I know that Pearson has the levels for their Reading Street readers online, but we found that in most cases they were WAAAAY off! That part of the leveling process took nearly the rest of the school year. BTW, I have both the English and Spanish lists for sale on TPT, if anyone needs those. Also, instead of shoe boxes, I used primary colored magazine holders, and starting with red (following the sequence of rainbow colors because I'm a little OCD!) I had all of the 'A's in red boxes, the 'B's in orange, and so on. That way, even though the books wouldn't all fit in one box, the kids could easily find the levels they were looking for. (BTW, I think our secretary purchased the colored magazine boxes from Office Depot). Great job on your Café! It looks amazing!

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