Reading Life in 5th Grade: Part Two

Our 5th Grade Reading Life - Part two

Part 2: 

In my previous post I mentioned book clubs that I ran this year: Mock Newbery and Breakfast and Books. I also wanted to talk a little bit about #classroombookaday which I didn’t include solely because I don’t consider it a “club”. Every child gets to experience classroom book a day, not just those who choose to. (In case you aren’t familiar with classroom book a day it is where you read a picture book a day to the class. It can be specific to content, it cannot be, it is just a time where you read, and then you initiate discussion in the classroom amongst students. Eventually you won’t need to initiate, you’ll just be the facilitator.) Classroom book a day was created by Jillian Heise after being inspired by Donalyn Miller’s book a day challenge that she started. Jillian is a previous middle school teacher turned librarian who started classroom book a day in her classroom. Exactly, her middle school classroom. I have seen a lot of teachers question the fact that they feel like picture books are for “younger kids” and boy, does classroom book a day really prove you wrong. One of the most beautiful things to me about picture books is that you won’t read it the same way twice, your students won’t all hear the same thing. If you have a class of 25, you can almost guarantee that 25 students are going to grab onto something completely different from the text, rather it be the entire author’s message, one sentence, the illustrations, the purpose, and so on and so on. Jillian created a post recently to help those who aren’t familiar/wanting more information: 

With classroom book a day, I also used picture books after my signpost mini lessons. The students would identify the signpost in a picture book and share out with the class. As a district, a majority of us implement Notice and Note strategies as our reading instruction. I’ll be honest, when I moved to this district I hadn’t even heard of the Notice & Note strategies, but once I read the books and dove in head first this year, I saw the success. But I also saw the failure with how I integrated N&N in my classroom. As a teacher of standards, I know we ALL spiral our standards right, after we get through one time, we go back. Well, N&N should be the exact same way. Except I found myself not spiraling back. I just taught them (about 3 days a signpost) and then I never went back to it. What. Was. I. Thinking. I mean, I know better.So, realizing this, I have to plan for next year to be using the signposts all year long and making sure they remember the questioning -the why- behind what the signposts stand for. 

Organizing picture books: 
Again, yes, I have bought a lot of my picture books but PBs are one that I try to do a Donors Choose for constantly because they are expensive y’all. I have SEVERAL friends who check out from their public library since most of the time you can check out around 20-25 at a time. 
Here are a few amazing people to follow on Instagram/Twitter to get ideas for picture books/classroom book a day: 

Jillian Heise @heisereads
Christina Hanson @hansonhallway
Kristen Piccone Twitter: @kpteach5
Aliza Werner Twitter: @alizateach
Michele Knott Twitter: @knott_michele
Amanda Schreiber  @msaplusteacher
Katie Reilly @katie.reilley Twitter: @KReilley5
Laura Komos @lkomos Twitter: @LauraKomos
Amber Kuehler @iowaamber
Scott Fillner @sfillner

There are so many more!! These are just a few that I am always searching to see okay what picture books did you just buy or check out that I need! 

I just purchased picture book bins from to hold all of mine by how I am going to use. The first few weeks are definitely building a classroom community/empathy, so in these bins I have the weeks separated. I then have used the bins to organize by signposts, themes, and genres. Obviously a PB is going to fall under multiple categories. Organize however you, or your classroom librarian, can retrieve what you need without spending a lot of time searching. 

This is the sign I have created for next year. I printed and have it on two cabinet doors. Below we will post a picture of the picture book cover (wallet size) every day. There may be some days where we read more than one and I will absolutely include those too. Why? Because y’all - students REMEMBER these books. I had students still taking about Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson MONTHS after we read that book, same with Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig. Nobody is “too old” for a good picture book. 

Again, y'all: If you have any questions or want me to elaborate MORE - PLEASE ask!! I will gladly share all I can and know! 

1 comment

  1. I love all the different ideas you have on here! Your love and passion for reading and getting kids to read is clear. Thank you! April


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