In addition to browsing boxes, which I have in my class, which are bins that students can go to during independent reading, and many students would go to the same browsing box of text that I've levelled myself. For students in the classroom, individual students, I also have personal boxes. And I set up these personal boxes not for every student, but for students who are not having that initial success with reading at the beginning of the year. And these personal boxes reflect a much more personalized approach to student reading. So when I meet with students during reading conferences at the start of the year I ask them questions about what they're interested in as readers, what they like to read about. And I do my best with the resources that I have in the classroom or that are available in the school to match their interests and their abilities with the books that go inside the personal boxes.
As the year progresses I meet regularly with students for guided reading, and I meet more with the students who have these personal boxes, because they're the students who are struggling more with reading, so I meet with them more. And each time we have a guided reading session, when we're finished reading that book that I've selected as the teacher, introduced, taught them strategies to read, that book becomes part of their personal box, because the repeated re-reading of that book that they've just been introduced to is also a very important part of independent reading.
So, for those students, they have two places that they can go during independent reading, they can go to their personal box where those books are guaranteed to be just right and familiar to them and of interest to them, and they can also go to their browsing bin which is shared with other members of the class and has a broader range of books, not always at their exact level but it gives them practice selecting a book that's also going to be good for them to read.
What Is Guided Reading?: http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/guided/guided.html
The goal of Guided and Independent Reading: Personal Boxes (Virtual Tour) is to promote students' use of a variety of effective strategies to improve their understanding of what they read as well as provide extensive appropriate practice with reading aloud.
- Small-group instruction provides opportunities for the teacher to offer guidance and feedback to all students.
- Guided reading sessions should be kept between 10-20 minutes and can be of mixed-ability or leveled groupings, depending on lesson begin taught. Choose texts that are appropriate for your lesson.
- Focus on a reading strategy with which a small group of students are having difficulty. Introduce vocabulary and invite the students to make predictions before reading.
- Personal boxes reflect a personal approach to student reading. Providing a variety of texts that match students' interests and ability levels promotes student success and fosters motivation for reading.
- Repeated reading of "just right" books helps students develop confidence in their reading.