Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guided reading book ideas?!?!

Hello! It's been awhile...I'm two weeks back into school and four weeks away from Christmas break! Have I mentioned I love how our school does holidays???? 6 week half terms work so well for me!

Anyway, I'm back at it, trying to develop this English/Literacy department at my school, slowly but surely. I started with spelling and found a more differentiated approach that is fairly easy for teachers and students to follow. Currently I'm working on creating PowerPoints for Year 3-Year 6 (second through sixth grade) that has a daily starter for the VCOP part of our Big Writing program. VCOP stands for vocabulary, connectives, openers, and punctuation and is a huge focus at our school. Anyway, more on that when it's finished.

The next thing on my list is to sort out the (lack of) guided reading resources for Years 3-6. I've researched books and come up with a good list for the school to buy, but need a bit more. I've got everything from Charlotte's Web to Holes, Skellig and Goodnight Mr. Tom. Please give me more book ideas!!!!

Speaking of books, I've really enjoying the break from using a basal series. I like aspects of using a basal, but really enjoy the curriculum here at the moment. I do wish we had more time for literacy though as it's hard to fit it all in. On the other hand, I'm happy to get away from the 3+ hours a day of literacy I had to do in Arizona.

I will be back soon with pictures of some things we've been up to in our classroom...until then, have a great rest of your week and weekend!


Miss R said...

The Tale of Despereaux (Kate Di Camillo) - my class of 8-10 year olds are really enjoying it. I thought it would be a bit young at first but there's a lot to it.

My class also love David Walliams ('Mr Stink' and 'Gangsta Granny' are good) and, of course, Roald Dahl (e.g. Boy, Matilda). The 'Akimbo' series by Alexander McCall Smith was good with slightly younger ones.

But you might have those on your list already... would love to hear what else you are getting! Thanks.

Kelli said...

Hello! Thanks for the comment!

For Year 3 I was thinking Ronald Dahl 'The Magic Finger', and 'Charlotte's Web'...Year 4 'Because of Winn-Dixie' and The Tale of Despereaux' as you mentioned, Year 5 we read Malorie Blackman 'Thief', 'Skellig' and 'Street Child', Year 6 we read 'Holes', 'Boy' and 'Flying Solo' and I would like to add 'Indian in the Cupboard'.

Left the file at home but I have a lot more on the list...will have to post document next time. Now we shall see if school will buy any!

lauraloisrimmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laura R said...

Toby alone is a great book for years 3 - 4. I had to read it when during my training and even went and bought the sequel.
Shaun Tan's picture books are great for higher year groups, especially to show them that they are never too old for a picture book. The Arrival has no words and the children have to therefore really dive into their inference skills.

I'd love to hear more about how you are developing literacy across your school, any projects you are doing and how you are getting teachers onboard.

Lots of support,
(new literacy co-ordinator and fellow londoner) :)

Kelli said...

Hello Laura! We need to chat! It has been a very interesting experience developing the literacy across the school. I work at a small private school in Surrey-average class size is around 14 and we use Ros Wilson's Big Writing programme.

I am concentrating on developing the reading comprehension curriculum, guided reading groups and reader reflection notebooks. Do you know of a good reading comprehension assessment that actually give levels (2c, 2b, 2a, etc)?

My email is

Great to hear from you!

P.S. Laura and Miss R, my next blog post will be my book list so far.