The first day of the week is used to get students settled into their reading. I'm asking them to self-monitor a lot of this. Are they engaged in what they are reading? How far are they in their current text? Can I suggest a new genre for them to try?
I also pass back reading logs from the week prior and with them give raffle tickets.
Here is a link to my independent reading strategy folder.
Weekly, students set page total goals on the first day of the week. The way these totals are calculated is through a technique called the five-minute focus-read. These totals change weekly, based on text complexity, number of nights they'll be held accountable for, and font-type size.
As a class, students read silently for five minutes. At the end of five minutes of their most focused reading (not their fastest or slowest), they tally up the total number of pages read. That number gets taken through a series of steps to determine their weekly page goal.
Watch this video to see how to set up a Five Minute Focus Read.
Shelfari is fantastic! It is a virtual bookshelf where students can post books they've read, books they hope to read, and books they're currently reading. They can write reviews, have group book discussions, and connect with friends. And today is the day. It is time to make a Shelfari page. I hope you're feeling patient! For me, this is the single most irritating day of the year. Here are a couple of tips to cut back on annoyances. Good luck!
1. Send out a Shelfari Parent Letter with useful information, well before you have students log on. Selfari is a social media site, so it is better to be safe than sorry and get your parent permission upfront.
2. On this permission slip, notify parents that if they have a preexisting Amazon account, they will not be able to log into Shelfari without that username and password. Shelfari is run through Amazon, so they'll either need to make an Amazon account or if they're email is already a linked to an account, they'll need that information.
3. All students will need either their own email to set up their account, or access to their parent's email address.
You may choose to have students set up Shelfari pages at home. I always set up during school because not all of my students have access to the internet at home. It is also easy to troubleshoot when you're there with them. I can also send emails to parents from school with username questions.
Once they have their accounts set up, I give them the first day to explore. I model how to add books to their shelves, write reviews, find friends, and join groups. Each of my blocks has a group I ask them to join. In that group, I post discussion questions having to do with the current unit.
Other helpful hints. There is a way to tag books read. I have all students tag each book they read during the year they spend with me #larson. They get into the hastag. It is nice to tag books because this is a fast way at the end of the year for them to tally up books read during our school year, versus all books that may be placed on their shelves.