Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reading Bags and a FREEBIE

After getting rid of our Direct Instruction Reading program, I realized how FUN learning to read can be for the students.  It warms my heart when I see one of them CHOOSE to read a book.

But, it breaks my heart to know that some of these kids go home and don't have any books to read.  I'm definitely not comfortable enough to send home my personal books, though.  Some of the students have a hard enough time keeping track of their go-home folder... who knows what would happen to my books! 

So, I decided to print off some books from and stick them into gallon size Ziploc bags.  Each student received their own "reading bag" with books at the perfect level for them.  I also added some flashcards with sight words that they are working on.

They are OBSESSED.  Some of my students even asked to take their reading bags out during inside recess.  It melts my heart.  <3

These "Reading Bags" are embarrassingly simple. They are quick and easy to make...and they will get the job done!

Here's my plan:  The reading bags will stay in their backpacks but they can take them out at home.  When they feel confident with a book, they will read it to me.  If they do a good job with it, I'll give them a new book.  When I hear that they are ready for a bigger challenge, I'll give them a book at a higher level.  I don't have it completely figured out but I'm going to do some sort of sign-up.  I know each and every student will want to read to me at all times of the day... so I have to find a way to organize it before it becomes a hassle.  

I'm sure I could make this a mandatory thing but I don't want to extinguish their desire to read.  So, if they choose to practice their books, I will give them more.  If they don't practice them, I won't force it.  I already force them to read so much throughout the school day. :) 

Do you send books home with your students?

You made it through this long post!  Yay! To say thanks, I made some cute Valentine's Day writing papers for you!  There are two sets... one is horizontal and the other is vertical.  Both sets include papers with handwriting lines and regular lines... depending on what you and your students prefer.  :)  Click the pictures to grab them!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I use A-Z Readers for all my small groups! They are so easy to print and put together, AND each story comes with great activities that go along with the books. With 5 reading groups, 5 days a week, I need my reading instruction to be planned efficiently!
    The best part is, when they bring it home in their reading folder to reread, I don't have to worry if they lose it! And they LOVE keeping the books when we are done with the story.
    Colleen :-)
    Fun and Fearless in First

  2. Too cute! Thanks for sharing your Val writing papers! :)
    I also use the gallon zip locks for their Reading Book Bags and send photocopied books home (from our Open Court series).

  3. Very cute Valentine writing paper!