In my grad school classes we have discussed several times over that you can teach reading all day long to your kiddos but unless they get extra practice at home, they will never reach their full reading potential. At this point many of us begin to wonder "What if my students don't have anyone to read with them at home?" In my class we have books on each child's reading level go home twice a week. For some of these kids the books have 100+ words and for others the books may only have sight words with pictures in the sentences to help them read the rest.The most important thing is that these books are ALWAYS on the child's level, so even if mom and dad are too busy to read with them, the STUDENT should be able to read the story to THEM! I have some kids who tell me they read their story to mom in the car on the way to soccer practice or they read to dad in the car on the way home from After School Care. The children get to keep these paper copies of their books and add them to their home "library". By the end of the year my students have over 70 books they are able to read on their own at home. This is HUGE for helping them to grow as readers.
At the beginning of the year, each child gets a "suitcase" to keep their paper books in safely while at home. We do "suitcases" because our Literacy program is called Journeys and our theme is "We are going on a JOURNEY through books!" What do you always take with you on a journey? A suitcase of course! I always go to the Dollar Tree and get cheap bags like the ones below for each child to keep at home as their "suitcase".
We make little card stock luggage tags for our suitcases with our names on them and tie them to our bags. These suitcases always stay at home and twice a week, when the new paper books come home, they add their new book to their suitcase to keep it from getting damaged.
When I send the stories home at night they go in the "Kindergarten Reading Log". This is just a gallon size Ziploc bag that has a paper taped to the front of it. On the paper we write the title of the story, the parents initial next to it showing they heard their child read the story, and then there is a place for a sticker next to the initials showing that we have seen that the story has been read and the story is at home (hopefully in the suitcase!).
I get the books from our reading series decodable reader book as well as from the website www.readinga-z.com. I have access to a subscription from one of my grad school professors because my school does not have it (yet! I am pushing it sooooo hard!). Also in the reading log bag is the new sight word for the week typed on card stock and hole punched to be added to our sight word ring. Each child is also given a "Sight Word Ring" to keep in their suitcase to practice nightly.
Do any of you do reading log bags? If so, how do you do yours? I love new ideas that can help me to make mine better. Hope you all had a great weekend :)