In the first two installments of this blog series, we discussed why particularly chosen books matter and how the TCRWP Classroom Libraries were selected. In this final part of the series, we will explore additional, innovative ways that the team focused on driving reading engagement.
One such way is through the tools and resources that accompany the libraries. A vast collection of brightly colored, attractive book bin labels and book level labels lure kids to bins with irresistible topics. Additionally, student sticky-note pads help promote close, active reading. Students can identify “Must-Reads” and “Watch Out!” sections for others by leaving these helpful sticky notes in the book. Watch the video below to check out these amazing resources:
But even with the aid of exciting tools like interactive sticky-notes, if students are not given high-interest books that they can actually read, they will not flourish as readers. So how do you foster engagement for kids who are reading below the benchmark level?
Lucy Calkins and her colleagues regarded the effort to supply books for kids reading dramatically below benchmark as the most important work the curators would do. They knew from their own experiences that struggling readers are often not provided appropriately leveled books that are also high-interest. The team consequently kept the age level of the readers foremost in their minds, and chose books that would be both enticing and accessible for those readers. Rest assured that the below-benchmark fifth-grade library may have lots of titles that third graders are able to read, but the collection is entirely different from the third-grade benchmark library. Hear what Lucy has to say about the Below Benchmark libraries here: