3 Reasons to Have a Teachers Favorite Books Bin

9:44 AM

A very long time ago in a Kindergarten class far away...

A student teacher got some really great advice.

That student teacher grew up to be a real teacher and *I* STILL continue to follow the advice I was given about having a Teacher's Favorite Books box. The box or bin itself has changed multiple times. Many of the same books have stayed in the box. A favorite is a favorite after all. Two years ago, I started using washi tape on the spines of my books to keep them organized. I chose some bright gold tape and dubbed my favorite books as "Ms. White's Gold Star Books".

Here are 3 reasons I think you should have a box of favorite books.

1. It blesses the book as good

No one likes to read a boring book.  When you take a book and designate it as one of your favorite's, you are saying "This is a good book.  You will like it!" In my basket of Gold Star Books, I have a variety of books.  I have some classics like Where the Wild Things Are.  Some books with great pictures like King Bidgood's in the Bathtub and some interactive books like The Monster at the End of This Book.

This is really important for your reluctant readers.  When reading is hard, the last thing a child wants to do is struggle through a book that isn't wonderful.  Help those kids find wonderful books by putting them in a special place.

2. It shows students that reading is a life-long habit

I was shocked by this article at Pew Research that states about a quarter of adults haven't read a book in the past year.  The article continues to give all sorts of statistical information if you are interested.  I'm still stuck on the first sentence-- I mean, what are they doing all day?

Even if not all adults are settling down on the couch for a marathon reading session, they are reading.

In grad class one year, I had to spend a whole week recording everytime I read something.  Despite realizing how much time I spent on Facebook, I also learned that reading is something that happened in almost everything I did.  Here is a partial list of reading I did:

📘recipe for dinner
📘Facebook statuses
📘grocery receipt to check prices
📘street signs while driving
📘cities on a map
📘Facebook statuses
📘text messages
📘memo at school
📘teacher's manual
📘lesson plans
📘Facebook statuses
📘student work

None of that even included the 4 hours I laid on the couch with The Hunger Games!

There is a lot of power in letting your students know that you still read.  It encourages them to think of reading as a life-long activity versus something you do in a small group with the teacher.

3. It engages and encourages students to read

With this one, I'm thinking specifically about reluctant or struggling readers.

When I introduce my Gold Star Favorites basket, I got through the basket and talk about the books.  I share why I love them.  "This one makes me laugh!" or "I could sit all day and look at these pictures!"  Sharing the love and excitement you have for these books engages your students in wanting to read those books.

I introduce the basket on the first day of school and read 2-3 books each day.  There are several benefits to this:
📘 providing a positive experience with books
📘 introducing quality literature
📘 make those books "safe" for struggling readers because you read it first

Here are some of the books in my Gold Star Books basket!

(These are Amazon Affiliate links.  This means that if you click the link and choose to purchase, I may receive a small commission from Amazon.  I cross my teacher-heart that I am only listing the books I truly love!)

Do you have a favorite books basket? What is in it? Drop me a line and let me know!

by Crystal @Primary on the Prowl

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