Reflection: Adjustments to Practice How to Pick a STAR - Section 3: Independent Practice


I try to do this lesson as early as possible in the year. Sometimes that means teaching the skill before you have assessed the kids for a reading level. I used to worry about this - how would I have appropriate books for them to choose from if I don’t have any idea of what they can read? However, I found that this actually works to students’ advantage and makes this lesson even more necessary.

Rather than having pre-selected leveled books for students to choose from, I simply pull a large set of books that matches their reading levels at the end of their second grade year. Of course, these won’t be exact matches as some students experience that “summer slide” while others really work on reading during the summer. But, it does give me a baseline guide of where to start when offering books to students.

Not knowing their “reading level” truly forces students to practice the two-finger rule. They can’t just gravitate to the number or letter that looks appropriate for them. They must be aware of their reading, pay attention to their miscues, and reflect on whether or not they understand what they read.

I was so pleased to see students reading silently with palms raised counting mistakes on their fingers! For the first time ever, I saw students actually shutting books, returning them, and finding new choices after determining that the book in their hand just wasn’t a STAR for them. It was such a rewarding experience to watch kids successfully select books that were both appropriate and interesting to finish!

  Adjustments to Practice: Success!
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How to Pick a STAR

Unit 2: Reading in the Classroom and at Home
Lesson 3 of 5

Objective: SWBAT choose independent reading books that are both appropriate and interesting for them.

Big Idea: In order to be successful at reading accurately and fluently, students must become proficient at finding books that are more than just "good fits" - they must find books that are "STARS"!

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English / Language Arts, Reading, Good fit book, independent reading, choosing books
  70 minutes
pick a star
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