Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Read to self Book Nook

I have been contemplating writing a weekly blog post in order to stay consistent.  I think I've got the Five For Friday Flashback in order, but I'd also like to share great teaching tips and finds that have helped me in the classroom.

I'm writing you today to tell you about the for Read to Self Daily 5:

*Book Nooks*

I noticed after the Thanksgiving break that my students were having trouble getting started quickly during Read to Self.

I was hearing a lot of "I was sitting there first!" and "HEY! That's my spot!" instead of the quiet hum of readers.

This was unusual due to the training and general stellar-ness of my class this year.

I had read about letting students choose a permanent spot to read during Read to Self.  I tried it out during a mini-lesson and have not turned back yet.

I was honest with my students and said that I had noticed it had been taking a while to get started quickly.  I also told them I noticed how they were pushing, screaming, running, and beating each other with their book bags "rushing" to get the perfect spot.  I told them that was unsafe.  I wanted them to be able to get started quickly-without rushing.  It's a fine line my friends. A fine line.

The day of the book nook mini lesson, we all started at out reading at our desks (an unusual occurrence).
Each student, one-by-one, picked a "Book Nook" spot.

I gave them a sticky note with their name on it to place on their spot. That way, other students would know this spot was taken.

If a student picked a spot that was right next to their best friend I quickly discussed how that *might* lead to talking.  Everyone obliged and real reading happened.

The next day was the real test of success.  It was time to get started....quickly....without fighting to the death Hunger Games Style rushing to their spot.

They were excited and relieved to have their own reading spot.

Everyone walked.  I repeat: Everyone WALKED!

 Everyone was happy to claim their own spot.  There were no tears, back stabbing, or pushing.  

It worked like magic.

Since, I have not had a student ask to trade Book Nook spots.
I have seen an decrease in transition time.
I have been an all around Happy teacher!

Have you tried Book Nooks?

Do you have a system for picking out a stuffed animal or pillow (my students are allowed to read with one or the other).  Also, I have recently introduced "reading phones" which has created a HUGE distraction and reason to pout in 1st grade.  There's not enough for every student, which is code for "I had it first" arguments.

What's your solution for creating a fair environment of choice?


  1. Hi there!
    Whenever there is Daily 5 chatting or CAFE conferring going on, I LOVE to join in the conversation!!! Book Nooks are awesome environmental features of the Daily 5 routine! I have a class of 26 and during the first 3 days, the kiddos sat at their seats. After that, each day 6 students were selected to "pick a spot" in the room. I did that everyday until all students had a comfy spot. We also have Free Choice Fridays so then we mix things up a bit!
    I use my Tube-a-Loo phones as a Word Work choice. My word work area is OPPOSITE of the guided reading table and small group conferring table, that way, less noise. Students are pretty good with them once they realize the RULE of NO SHOUTING on the phone. Never know who might answer and give a Mighty Groan!!!
    I love looking at the pictures the best!
    You've got some great reading happening! YAY!
    Thanks for letting me bend your ear a bit!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  2. This is a great idea! This year I am doing the Debbie Diller literacy stations so I only have two students at a station at a time, but next year I think I am going to try doing Daily 5. I am going to remember this for next year! Thanks again for the great idea.

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  3. I have been doing book nooks for the last few years with my 3rd and 4th graders. What has worked for me is a chart with clothes pins. I have all the book nooks listed (and space out the best ones on the chart) and each week, we move the clips so everyone gets a new book nook. It's worked really well!!
    ideas by jivey

  4. Love this! Haven't done it, but will be doing so soon!!! Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you've been able to enter my huge giveaway!
    Growing Firsties is giving away Erin Condren and lots more!

  5. Love the book nooks! They look like so much fun for the kids. I'm thrilled that I found your blog. Thanks for entering my giveaway girl!

  6. This is such a great idea! I will definitely try this out. :) I also love following your blog! I just created my own so if you have a minute, take a look!