The librarian sets out a combination of picture books and easy readers in the “library circle” and children are invited to begin looking at the books. Students will often find books to check out from the circle. If they would like, they are invited to search the shelves for other books within their reading level that interest them. Once they have chosen the books, CDs or DVDs they desire to check out, they bring them to the librarian for help writing their name and date on the library card. For the last 10 minutes of library time, the librarian reads a story aloud to the whole class.
The 1st and 2nd grade library time also begins with a “library circle” of books displayed by the librarian. Although the time is structure similarly, the librarian tailors the selection to their unique reading levels. 2nd graders see a combination of picture books, early readers and early reader chapter books in their “library circle”. Students make their selections of books, CDs or DVDs and are offered help with correctly filling out the information on the library card. The librarian reads aloud to the whole class during the final 10 minutes.
After an orientation to the library, students are asked to seek out their own books. We especially encourage them to choose chapter books, non-fiction and fictional works. Once students make their selections and check out resources, they may read independently. For the last 10 minutes, students listen as the librarian reads to them from a chapter book. In this way, they will work through several books during the course of the school year.
Students at this reading level spend their first 20 minutes looking for books and reading on their own. Often, they have discovered a series or author they truly enjoy and have learned to select books that appeal to their personal interests. The librarian is available for assistance, should they need it. She reads aloud to them for the final 10 minutes.
Having instilled in our oldest students the habit and love of reading, they no longer require a structured library time; instead, they enjoy opportunities to check out books during their study hall.