I'm new to daily 5 this year and I was wondering if some other primary teachers could provide me with some suggestions. How many books should a 1st grader have in their box? How often do you allow them to shop? How do you structure the shopping? Last, do you allow them any "look" books which are clearly not on their level but high interest?
My students are allowed to choose 5 books. One is allowed to be too easy for them, one can be too hard, the other three should be just right. They keep their books for a week. I have 5 tables. Each table has a day of the week to switch their books. (Monday - Blue, Tuesday - Red, Wednesday - Green, Thursday - Orange, Friday - Purple) If we are out of school on a Monday, Blue and Red will switch on Tuesday. If a child is absent on their day, they switch when they return. All book shopping happens during Morning Work.
How many books should a 1st grader have in their box? My rule is this-Have as many as you need so that you are reading the whole time as long as your book bin isn't bulging on the sides. I don't have a set number because some kids need more while some kids are fine with less. When they are beginning readers they tend to need more as the books are shorter and easier.
How often do you allow them to shop? Whenever they want! I do not feel it's my "job" to tell them when they can and can't choose new books. Many kids will trade a few books every couple days and keep some of their favorites for longer.
How do you structure the shopping? They can shop in the morning as they come in (I always have that written on the morning message as something they can do). During Daily 5 I usually let one child per round spend that time choosing books (some kids need more time to browse). This doesn't happen often, but if someone asks me, I let them.
Last, do you allow them any "look" books which are clearly not on their level but high interest? Yes, at the beginning of the year. Eventually I wean them of that and focus on choosing good-fit books. That said, if I have high readers, they typically choose good-fit books from the beginning. If a child has a lot of difficult books, I help them find just-right books as well even if it's the beginning of the year.
I've learned to give kids control over their book bins, choosing books, number of books, etc...because they can do it (even in first grade). Also, it's one less thing that I have to think about which allows me to focus on what I need to do.
My kids book shop once a week during workshop time. One reading group does this each day. I post a schedule so they know which day is theirs.
They should have about 8 good fit/ just right books and can take 2 looking at books. They also have their guided reading book(s) in plastic bag kept in the book box.
They reading the GR books each day and then go on to the others.
Some kids need extra help selecting books.
Chapter books are not "looking at" books.
I check book boxes often in the beginning of year to make sure they are selecting appropriate books. Students at higher levels might only have 1-4 chapter books that they read all week, but they also need nonfiction in their box. During guided reading, I might suggest some other books for them that fit with our strategy or skill.
At other times, the kids might pick a book or two from seasonal bins or big books. These are often read with a partner.
I just started D5 last year. Everyone did book shopping on Friday morning, but not all at once. During morning work ( which on Fridays was "set up your paper for you spelling test, then whiteboard practice spelling words with a partner and/or Read Poetry binders with a partner), I would send 4 kids to shop, and when they were done, they would tap another student on the shoulder and they would shop. I usually had 3 different spelling groups last year, so I would test my highest and my lowest groups, at my reading table, while some kids shopped and "hum" of partner work was in the air! by the time book shopping was done, I just had my "on level" spelling test to give, and the others Read to Self or Listened to Reading. I did it his way because it was the only " morning work" I was willing to have some of them miss!
I have a ten book limit for book boxes. At the beginning of the year they might all be "read the pictures" books, but as the year goes on we transition as they get to be better readers--ie, the ratio of read the pictures vs. words changes. Last year book shopping was a morning job, but I found many kids would forget to do it, or some would never do it without me insisting. I saw a cute idea on pinterest--there are little gift bags for each day of the week, and the kids names are on tags hanging out of the bags--this is their book shopping day. I'm going to try this so they can at least check to be sure a) they have not exceeded the limit, and b)they have books they want.