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Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Book in a Bag: Pop Open a Good Book

Hello from PA!  My name is Lauren and I am the author of a relatively new blog~

I am just so happy to be guest blogging for Shuna today and to meet new bloggy friends!

My family at my son's high school graduation in May

As a reading specialist for preschool to grade 5 at a very small private school, I wear many "hats" (don't we all?!)  A big part of my job is providing small group reading intervention and remediation for kindergarten, first, and second grades. These are my target grades that I work with everyday.  Depending on the needs of the students, I may work with students twice a day.

When I first started my intervention groups a few years ago, I implemented a "Book In A Bag" program for my little readers.  We all know that research shows that the single best way to improve reading is to read- read to self, listen to reading, lap reading, and read with someone. My "Book In A Bag" program is a very simple one that promotes family literacy, motivates students to read, and offers opportunites for students to practice reading strategies and skills at home.

Graphics by

 Student choice is a huge motivator, especially for my little readers who are struggling and do not have much confidence.  I do not select books for them;  I teach them how to select a "good fit book".  It may be a leveled reader or a picture book, fiction or nonfiction. The book may be at their independent, instructional, or frustration level.  If the latter, I place a note in the book that a parent needs to read it aloud. My belief is that if they are interested in the book, I should not limit them to only books they can read at an easy level, especially since parent support is very high at my school (I'm blessed, I know!). 

 In addition, I am trying to motivate and instill confidence in these little cuties.  They can still practice most of the strategies we learn and practice in small group; they will apply those strategies with their listening comprehension.

 Often I will send home a consumable book for them to keep.  This may be one that we have read and reread in small group.  I often get these from Reading A- Z or from sites on the internet that offer free printable books such as Hubbard's Cupboard.  Students are encouraged to keep a "book box" at home where they can keep all their paper books to reread for enjoyment and fluency practice.

 For the upcoming school year, I am revamping my Book-In-A-Bag program.  I am so excited that this year I will be using these book bags!

I ordered these from  Click on the pic above to visit their site! These adorable little bags cost about .46 a piece!  They are plastic, have a cute handle for little hands, and will be perfect for take-home books. So, now I'm totally revising my program with a popcorn theme!  And, I already have the "Movie Night" clip art collection from Scrappin Doodles.

Who wants a FREEBIE?  How about two??  You can grab this reader's log that I will be using this year and the bookmarks!  Just click on the pics below!

My popcorn Book-In-A-Bag program is a work in progress that I will continue to work on over the summer. I plan to put the reader's log, bookmarks, a parent letter, reading strategy pamphlet (I still have to revise the latter two) and of course a bag of microwave popcorn in the take-home bags. My brain is POPPING with all kinds of ideas!!!

Thank you so much, Shuna, for the opportunity to be your guest today!  Happy Teaching!!


  1. Such great ideas and super motivating for kids! Any buy-in that will get them hooked! Love it!

    ~Christy & Tammy

  2. Thank you Christy and Tammy! I just love these bags! They are large and sturdy! I have a feeling that my students and I will be eating a lot of popcorn this year! Lauren
    Teacher Mom of 3


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