Reflection: Organizational Systems Structured Choice - Section 1: Mini-lesson



Develop efficient and responsible ways for students to select books for classroom collection

Student Routine for Book Selection

There are different ways to do this.  In an earlier Historical Fiction unit, I kept the civil war and slavery book on a rolling cart.  I dismissed students one table at a time to select or return books to the cart.  I didn't have the kids check them out because I didn't encourage them to take the books home.  This system worked pretty well, in that students had numerous opportunities to select or return a book without disruptions.  Also, I ended the unit with just about the same number of books that I started with. Many of the books I use in the classroom are paperbacks.  This is the third year the civil war/ slavery books  have been used and they are definitely showing wear.  I share the books with other teachers and they get a lot of use. So, I need to talk with the principal about replacing some copies.

During this unit on the American Revolution, I kept the books in a large box in the front of the room.  I had the classroom librarians, set the books out on the rug (stacking like titles) for students to choose from.  I kept a clipboard  with the book collection and students wrote the title of their book next to their name.  When they finished the book they returned it to the box and crossed off the title and selected a new book to read and wrote the title in the next box on the clipboard form.  I encouraged students to take the books home and to read as many as they could, so a check out was needed. My avid readers took advantage of this, and read many of the novels in this set.  Allowing students to take books home from a class set sometimes leads to lost books.  I did have more books lost using the check out system than the rolling cart system.   

The fifth grade team shares a set of book titles on the American Revolution.  I used the books at the end of the year after the other teacher was finished with them.  This is my first time creating a unit on this time period, so I was not very familiar with the content or the books in the set.  Next year, I will build on what I have learned by teaching this unit this year.  Some of the books are better than others.  Over the summer, I will read the novels and see how to use aspects of them intentionally across the unit.  I am thinking about using excerpts from vairous novels that show different points of view, for example.

Also, I really like the book George VS George by Rosalyn Schanzer.  I would like to have a class set to use a "text book" next year.    It is packed full of facts from multiple perspectives.  This year, I read aloud from the texts, "If you lived during Colonial Times" and "If you Lived During the Time of the American Revolution" to build students background knowledge and to help them pick a topic to research.  During a read aloud, I would jot down topics that students could choose from to learn more about.


  Organizational Systems: Management Tip!
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Structured Choice

Unit 9: Historical Fiction- American Revolution
Lesson 5 of 13

Objective: SWBAT select a book from a collection of fiction and nonfiction titles to learn about the time period of the American Revolution using everything they have learned previously about note taking and annotating the text.

Big Idea: Making a good decision when picking a book to read and capturing their thinking and lingering questions.

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13 colonies and american revolution
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