I want my students to drive to Barnes and Noble or any bookstore and buy a book that they want to read. I want my students to know how to walk into a library, and know what book they want to check out to read. Instead of asking for level M or Magenta books. I want my students to go into any store and know how to pick a Just Right Book.
Just Right Books
I encourage you to think of the criteria that makes sense for your class and students (NOT ALL OF THIS CRITERIA):
1. The book looks interesting.
2. You can figure out most of the words in the book.
3. Your teacher has read this book aloud to you.
4. You have read other books by this author.
5. There is someone to give you help if you need it.
6. You know something about this subject.
7. Is this book new to you?
8. Do you understand most of the book?
9. Are there a few words per page that you don’t recognize or know the meaning to instantly?
10. Can someone help you with the book if you hit a tough spot?
11. Your child is interested in the book.
12. Your child can tell you what is happening in the story.
13. Your child has to occasionally reread parts of the text to understand it.
14. There may be a few words on the page that your child needs help reading.
15. Most reading is smooth-only occasionally choppy.
16. Schema helps students read books too. If you’ve heard about it, experienced it, or seen it then it’s in your schema. What do your students know about the topic of the book? A just right book depends on schema. If your students choose a book that you’ve never heard of the topic before, then that book will probably be too hard and it will be a book that your students will need to read with someone.