Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

Monday, January 11, 2016

How I do Kindergarten Book Tubs

Book Tubs...where do I begin?  I've had book tubs for a couple years and never got my groove on setting up, managing, and maintaining them.  I tried a couple things, but I couldn't find a good fit for me or my kids.   I'm hoping I've found a solution as far as managing and keeping them up to date.  This is nothing special or new!  In fact this is pretty much the same thing you've seen pinned on Pinterest and read on many blogs out there.  I'm hoping with a few tweaks, this is SIMPLE enough for me to manage and SIMPLE enough for my kids to handle.
Are you feelin' me?  I have to have SIMPLE to MANAGE...pretty much that means I want my kids doing most of the "handling of it" alone.  I don't have time to touch these daily, swap out books daily, keep records of who has what book, check tubs for correct levels, keep track of what books they have read and how many they have read, etc.  My kids get a lot of small group reading time with me everyday, SO, I'm not stressing myself over book tubs.  I'm using these as a fast finisher choice, quiet time, & time-fillers.

I went back and forth on how to sort my books and how to allow my kiddos to "check out" books and so forth.  I just couldn't get a good plan or wrap my head around it.  So, here's what I'm doing.
The books shown are all extras from our Scott Foresman reading series.  We got the new updated version, and we got new books with it.  Cha-Ching!  My old books went straight to my "library" for book tubs.  My books are sorted by 3 levels...Strategic, On-Level, and Advanced.  I had the colored polka-dot cards (see pic below) already in my classroom so I just laminated them and wrote my students names on them according to each of their levels.  My school is ALL kindergarten so we don't have AR levels or star levels or anything like that.  However, Scott Foresman does have DRA levels and Fountas and Pinnel levels on their books now.  HERE is a link that shows what levels Scott Foresman readers fall in.
When a student is ready to get a book or change out a book they will go to the basket that has their name on it and choose a book...same way most people do it.  I guess what makes it simple for me is there are only 3 baskets to choose books from.  Their names are there on the tub so that's the tub they pull from.  There's no paper to fill out, no record keeping, nothing.  I want this to be as intrinsically motivated as possible.  I add to and take away books as we progress through each unit.  My students ONLY touch the books in THEIR designated basket.  I do have appropriate level books in each basket, plus a few that would be a challenge.  Of course, I want my students to push themselves.  One of my friends always says, "If you don't put them on the bicycle, they'll never learn how to ride"...so the "bicycle" is there when they are ready.
*****EDITED to say that the books that are in their leveled basket are books we have read in small groups prior to them being a choice.  I have 2 sets of these leveled readers. :)

I'm very easy going about the book tubs as when they feel comfortable changing their books in and out.  I ask that my students read the book they choose as least 3 times or more.  I tell them to get familiar with it and be able to read it with ease...fluently if you will.  Remember, I read with all my students every day during guided reading so they know what I mean by those words and know what I except of them.  Gentle reminders are given to students to swap out books often.

 I want students to learn to love to choose books, and learn to read and re-read.  Not just flip through the pages and think that is reading.  I'm hoping this makes the process Easy-Peasy Lemon-Squeezy!

Each student has their own numbered book tub...no names...it's just easier for me this way.  It's the same number they line up on.  :)
Each book tub has a pointer :)

How do you do Book Tubs?  I'd love to hear your ideas for managing them!

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