A Book in a Bag: Pop Open a Good Book

Hello from PA!  My name is Lauren and I am the author of a relatively new blog~
I am just so happy to be guest blogging for Shuna today and to meet new bloggy friends!

My family at my son’s high school graduation in May

As a reading specialist for preschool to grade 5 at a very small private school, I wear many “hats” (don’t we all?!)  A big part of my job is providing small group reading intervention and remediation for kindergarten, first, and second grades. These are my target grades that I work with everyday.  Depending on the needs of the students, I may work with students twice a day.
When I first started my intervention groups a few years ago, I implemented a “Book In A Bag” program for my little readers.  We all know that research shows that the single best way to improve reading is to read- read to self, listen to reading, lap reading, and read with someone. My “Book In A Bag” program is a very simple one that promotes family literacy, motivates students to read, and offers opportunites for students to practice reading strategies and skills at home.
Graphics by www.scrappindoodles.com
 Student choice is a huge motivator, especially for my little readers who are struggling and do not have much confidence.  I do not select books for them;  I teach them how to select a “good fit book”.  It may be a leveled reader or a picture book, fiction or nonfiction. The book may be at their independent, instructional, or frustration level.  If the latter, I place a note in the book that a parent needs to read it aloud. My belief is that if they are interested in the book, I should not limit them to only books they can read at an easy level, especially since parent support is very high at my school (I’m blessed, I know!). 
 In addition, I am trying to motivate and instill confidence in these little cuties.  They can still practice most of the strategies we learn and practice in small group; they will apply those strategies with their listening comprehension.
 Often I will send home a consumable book for them to keep.  This may be one that we have read and reread in small group.  I often get these from Reading A- Z or from sites on the internet that offer free printable books such as Hubbard’s Cupboard.  Students are encouraged to keep a “book box” at home where they can keep all their paper books to reread for enjoyment and fluency practice.
 For the upcoming school year, I am revamping my Book-In-A-Bag program.  I am so excited that this year I will be using these book bags!

I ordered these from Demco.com.  Click on the pic above to visit their site! These adorable little bags cost about .46 a piece!  They are plastic, have a cute handle for little hands, and will be perfect for take-home books. So, now I’m totally revising my program with a popcorn theme!  And, I already have the “Movie Night” clip art collection from Scrappin Doodles.
Who wants a FREEBIE?  How about two??  You can grab this reader’s log that I will be using this year and the bookmarks!  Just click on the pics below!
My popcorn Book-In-A-Bag program is a work in progress that I will continue to work on over the summer. I plan to put the reader’s log, bookmarks, a parent letter, reading strategy pamphlet (I still have to revise the latter two) and of course a bag of microwave popcorn in the take-home bags. My brain is POPPING with all kinds of ideas!!!
Thank you so much, Shuna, for the opportunity to be your guest today!  Happy Teaching!!

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