Do you want books in your classroom library that students just can’t wait to read? The kind of book that they rush to get to before someone else? Well, I know some fantastic ways to get these books and they cost almost nothing. Sounds too good to be true right? Well, children love to create their own books, they just need a little structure.
It is important for children to be exposed to different types of literature in order to improve their reading skills and comprehension. One of the ways for kids to stay engaged in reading is to have them read books out loud to each other. Hearing a book read aloud is an excellent way to learn new vocabulary and boost comprehension skills. Children especially enjoy sharing a book that they helped author. Listening to a story also helps children develop their listening skills and learn how to follow along. Talking about what you’ve just heard can help kids improve their social skills. This is because they allow for more interaction during the reading process. They also give students an opportunity to see themselves in the story and feel like they’re a part of the story.
Reading Class books is a great way to foster a love of reading. Good reading programs involve children reading the same book by themselves, with the teacher, and with their peers. This involves listening to the story being read aloud. Children often learn to read by reading the same book with their parents or by listening to the story being read aloud. As they grow older, they are more able to read on their own and find themselves choosing what books they want to read and when.
Many children are attracted to publishing their work and getting it into the hands of their family and friends. It’s a way of showing off their hard work. Who doesn’t love seeing their name in a book?
So what are class books anyway? Class books are made by all the children in the class. In my class, each child makes one or two pages, and then I put them all together and make a class book.
Class books are a perfect way for students to publish what they have learned with the help of a teacher who can help them put together an interesting, well-organized book. Even if the child does not write all the words themselves, they will have input on what goes into their book.
So what’s involved in making a class book? Well, there are many ways to do with a lesson where the students make a page that is worth putting in a book. You can put interesting worksheets in the book and let the kids read those – see the speech bubble talking pencils below. On Pink Shirt Day, we usually do a pink shirt worksheet and I compile these into a book of those pages. Sometimes we do a worksheet/ project and I will display it on the bulletin board. Then when it’s time to take the display down, I will put them all in a book for the kids to read. I have many different activities for creating class books in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and if you scroll down you can grab yourself one of them for free. Or CLICK HERE to see what I have available.
The most important thing to remember about a class book is that it can’t be fragile. It will face a lot of use and abuse if you leave it in your class library all year. So it needs to be sturdy. Below are some examples of the ways I have created class books over the years.
The first way is really easy as long as you have access to a laminator that will do 18″x24″ paper. Above is a photo of a really old cover I made about 20 years ago when I taught K. I didn’t have a lot of money and the school would pay for the paper and the laminating, so I made a cover out of paper, and laminated it. Once each child had made their page, I stapled it together. It lasted all year. In fact, I saved that cover and used it at least 4 more times with other classes – until I moved schools and was no longer Division 18.
The second way you can make a class book is by using a Duotang (or 3 prong folder). But then you need a label to identify the cover. Or, you can use these clear covered folders that I found, and have reused multiple times.
I first found these presentation folders with clear pockets when I was teaching in New Zealand. They are so versatile. I was excited to find them in the local dollar store a few years ago, and I think I bought every one they had. You print out your cover and insert it in the clear pocket on the cover. And the kids work is inserted to the clear pockets.
Sometimes I get the kids to make one page, and sometimes two. Above is a more recent example of a class book, made with those presentation folders I found at the dollar store. The activity is from my STEAM STORIES line. CLICK HERE to check those out if you are interested.
Here’s a letter-sized scrapbook that I found at Target. It’s perfect for making books that last as the pockets are very sturdy and the cover is very hard and strong.
I hope you find the time to try making class books with your own class. It’s thrilling to watch one of your struggling readers choose a class book and be excited about sitting down to read it.
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