Monday, July 16, 2012

Keep Track of What You Are Reading and Writing!

My first year teaching I wanted to have a way to keep track of all the books we had read together as a class without writing them on a chart. I think it's important to remember what you have read together so that you can refer back to those common reading experiences later in the year. I had tons of available cabinet space in the back of my room, so I decided to not only record the books we have read, but also add a way for students to classify books by genre and display their writing. I am always looking for ways to make a connection between reading and writing! 

What I decided to do was use each cabinet as a different genre of reading/writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, historical fiction, biography/autobiography, and other texts). The top part of the cabinet is for displaying books we have read, and the bottom part is for displaying writing. I added clothes pins to the writing portion to easily change writing samples throughout the year. 

The displaying of what we have read takes a little prep work and time, but once you get it ready you can use it year after year! I print small pictures of the cover of the books we are reading and "laminate" them with clear packaging tape. On the back of each picture I put a velcro circle, and I put the other side of the velcro circle on the cabinets. Then, after we have read a book, we discuss both the author's purpose for writing the book and the genre. As a class we classify the book's genre, and a student sticks the picture of the book cover to the appropriate cabinet. They love our discussions, and they love having the opportunity to put the book cover on the right cabinet!

I've posted some pictures below of what this looks like in my room. Have fun!! 


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