Thursday, June 27, 2013


Hi, Friends!  How are ya? It’s Thursday…time for another installment of Throwback Thursday! I absolutely bloggy *LOVE* Cara Caroll! She is the absolute sweetest! Her posts are always fun and completely crack me up!

I cracked open my copy of The Next Step in Guiding Reading yesterday and flew through the first chapter  with highlighter, sticky notes and pen in hand! I absolutely LOVE teaching reading and my literacy block is my FAVORITE time of day! It’s the kid’s favorite too! As I read the first chapter and saw how it aligns so wonderfully with The Daily Five, I thought back to how much easier stations became this past year after incorporating D5. Talk about….take a load off! Whew!


One of the concepts mentioned in Chapter One of the book was providing students with individual book boxes, sooooo I thought for this Throwback Thursday, I’d share with you what we kept in ours this past year.  It was a pretty popular post. I hope you find it helpful. 

It was originally posted October 2012.  Enjoy!

As we’ve moved into week 7 of school, we’ve practiced and launched all of the components of Daily 5.  One thing my kids love the most about it…….??? Their book box! They carry those things around from spot to spot like their lives depend on it! 

Well, except for a couple that just leave it sitting any old where! Their book boxes just may come up missing! And then we’ll see how well they keep up with it! Ha!

photo 1

Our little $1 boxes are holding up well and the kids are filling them with lots of goodies! They’ve become a real important piece to keep our day running smoothly.  They’ve also helped me to keep the copy cops at bay because we use them as part of our morning work routine too.  No more worksheets…..well, at least not as many.

Each morning when students come in, they put their personal belongings away.  Their Take Home folder goes into a bin.  They indicate their lunch choice for the day and then…..and then….and then? They grab their book box! It’s the first and last thing we use each day.

They get their book box and head to a “read to self” spot also known as the pieces of blue painter’s tape stuck around the room on the floor! It helps to spread them out, so no one is sitting too close to anyone that might break their stamina.  Works like a charm!

photo 2

After finding a comfy, cozy spot each student reads a book or two (of their choice) from their book box.  Once they’ve finished reading, they each move to their desk to write about the book that they read.  This is done at their own pace, so some may be reading while others are just getting unpacked.  Some may be writing or completing a writing from the day before.  Everyone is busy becoming a better reader or writer.

Inside of each friend’s book box is a leveled reader, a decodable reader, a reader’s notebook, 3 “good fit books of their choosing and a folder.

On Friday afternoons, we swap the leveled reader for a new one for the following week and return the 3 “good fit” books back to the classroom library.  The decodable reader stays put for the entire 6 weeks because it contains many stories that follow the phonics patterns of our main story each week.  Can you imagine how much these repeated readings will help to build their fluency by year’s end? *LOVE*

photo 3

On Monday mornings, students are allowed to visit the classroom library to “I-PICK”  3 new “good fit” books. 

photo 5

Inside of each kiddos folder is their personal coaching sheet.  This sheet is a handy reference tool for “reading to someone”.  If a friend should get stuck on a word, they’ll have the strategies that we’ll be using during shared and guided reading to help each other read words.  Rather than simply tell the word, we want to help our friends to offer either coaching or time {to figure out the word}. 

Sooo, if you’d like to toss one into your student’s book boxes too, click the pic below to grab one!


I’d love to know…..What’s in YOUR book box?



  1. My kids have their reader's notebook (composition book), 3 good fit books, 1 just for fun book (because I want them to know it's okay to browse through a too hard book or revisit an old too-easy favorite every now and then), and 2 teacher's choice books (usually 2 leveled readers). They also keep their music folder in there just because it's the easiest storage spot, but that has nothing to do with reading :)

    Thanks for sharing what's in your students' boxes!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

    1. Thank YOU for sharing too! Glad to hear our boxes hold similiar content. This weekend, it will be time to change out some of the books in our library before they get to shop on Monday! =)

  2. I LOVE this post..and peeking into your readers' book boxes! Oh...and we also use Journeys as our reading it! :)


    1. Hey there, Gladys! Thank YOU! Glad to meet a fellow Journeys buddy! I really love it too! This is our third year with it. =)

  3. We have book boxes, too! Ours have 3 or 4 books of their own choice, a baggie with Guided Reading books, and their poetry folder. I love your freebie. I'm grabbing it! thank you.
    I've been thinking of switching one of our reading times to first thing in the morning too. Still thinking about it. Love your blue tape idea!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  4. I love the book boxes. I have so many of those that I could do this. Thanks!
    Latoya Reed
    Flying into First Grade

    1. You'll be glad you did. My kids really took great ownership of their bookboxes. I had to replace them once mid-year because we used them so much everyday. We'll talk a litte more about proper care of them this year.

      Thanks for stopping by! =)

  5. LOVE the coaching sheet! So glad you chose to "throwback" to this post so we could grab it!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

    1. Thanks, ladies! I hope you find it helpful. My kiddos enjoyed using them! =)

  6. Thank you for this post!! I do Daily 5 so I found this to be very informative! Thank you for the coaching sheet!!

    First Grade Bling


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