Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Books in Their Hands: Why & How Thoughts

Ultimately, we want to develop deeper understanding of how to guide students to books which not only help them become stronger readers but draw them into reading as a habit, an oasis, a lighthouse.

Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell (1999) steer our thinking further: “Matching books to readers depends on three interrelated sets of understandings, all of which are critical to effective teaching:
* Knowing the readers.
* Knowing the texts.
* Understanding the reading process.”

One of the bravest and wisest books about guiding students to books is Beyond Leveled Books: Supporting Early and Transitional Readers in Grades K – 5 by Karen Szymusiak, Franki Sibberson, Franki, and Lisa Kock, Lisa (2008). I also greatly admire and find myself returning to Teri Lesene's (2003) Making the Match: The Right Book for the Right Reader at the Right Time, Grades 4-12 time and time again.

Books in Their Hands, Words in Their Hearts
Like Cinderella’s shoe or Goldilock’s search for the “just right” chair, a good fit between reader and book is essential to support students’ comprehension, confidence, and motivation. Looking for book matching/book leveling resources? Here are some helpful web databases to support your work. Happy reading!

Surfing for BOOKS!

For updated book lists and resources or to add your ideas to our list, please visit this BLOG @ laurabensonopenbook.blogspot.com/ and/or e-mail me to continue our conversation.

Choice Literacy http://www.choiceliteracy.com/ [*For ongoing discussions about book matching as well as incredible bibliographies for students and for us]

Carol’s Corner http://carolwscorner.blogspot.com/ [One of my all time favorite book mentors, Carol Wilcox, a dear friend and incredible educator, created this blog to share her devotion to books, books, books. It is always worth reading Carol’s book recommendations and reflections!]

LeveledBooks.com http://www.leveledbooks.com/booksearch.html

Leveling Tool http://www.heinemannclassroom.com/tools/levels.asp

Book Level Equivalencies Chart http://www.leveledbooks.com/equivalency.htm

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard http://bookwizard.scholastic.com/tbw/homePage.do

Bookspot http://www.bookspot.com/readinglists/#grade

Beaverton Schools, Oregon http://registration.beavton.k12.or.us/lbdb/

Portland Public Schools, Oregon

Fountas-Pinnell Leveling Books Website (membership fee + $.75 per "hit")

Fountas-Pinnell Leveled Booklist, K-8 2005-2008 (printed text; $40)

Children's Book Reviews [Pre-K to 9th grade] http://www.carolhurst.com/titles/gradetitles.html

Caldecott Medal Books http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/awardsscholarships/literaryawds/caldecottmedal/caldecottmedal.htm

Caldecott Winners List (1938- present)

Newbery Medal Books

Newbery Medal and Honor Books (1922-present) http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/awardsscholarships/literaryawds/newberymedal/newberyhonors/newberymedal.htm

RIF Reading is Fundamental- booklists http://www.rif.org/parents/

Kidsreads http://www.kidsreads.com/index.asp

Library of Congress: Book-Promoting Organizations http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/partners.html

READING PLANET http://www.rif.org/readingplanet/

A Year of Reading http://www.readingyear.blogspot.com/

The Boy Reader http://www.theboyreader.blogspot.com/

Literacy Matters www.literacymatters.org/teachers

Making Sense in Social Studies (and other content areas, too) http://www.readingquest.org/

Montgomery County Schools http://www.mciu.org/

New York Times www.newyorktimes.com/learning

*More to come!