I recently assigned my favorite homework project of the year. (I only do two projects, and this is an important one!) At this time of year in my classroom we are reading and making lots of books. Sometimes the kids just color the pages, sometimes they do a project on each page, sometimes they are based on songs, and sometimes they are science or math books. The kids love the books, and by the time they go home, they can read them independently (because we have used them as shared reading for a while.)
Well, for a long time I never knew if the books even made it home. They could end up crumpled at the bottom of a backpack, or lost under the bed. These great books designed to build reading identities and support emergent readers were not being used to their full potential.
Then, the Reader’s Treasury boxes were born. Now I ask each family to create a “treasure box” where these books will be kept. The box can reflect anything the child loves and cares about. They are to find a special place at home to keep the box. Then, anytime the kids bring a new little book home, it is more treasure to add to the box! I simply put a sticker in the corner of the book to let parents know that this is a reader’s treasury book. I ask the kids to read these books to anyone they can. They can take turns at bedtime reading, read to their teddy bears, read to little brothers and sisters, grandmas and grandpas – you name it. Here are a few photos of some finished boxes:
There is almost no difference on my end. Just by encouraging the families to value the books, the books give back tenfold in return! This year I asked my students to bring in pictures of their boxes so they can show their friends, and we created a gallery. They are SO proud of them! I know now that anytime the kids take home a new little book, the kids will be thrilled to add them to their boxes!
Here is a FREE Reader’s Treasury book that I am doing this time of year. It will be our first to go home, and we are all so excited! Just click on the image or the link above to get your FEEBIE.
If you want everything you need to start using Reader’s Treasury boxes with your students with no work on your part, click on the image below or link above. You will get my parent letter, stickers, and FIVE books! For $12, your kids’ books will be influencing their reading literally for years to come!
How do you get the most out of your emergent reading books? I would love more ideas!