180 books sounds like a lot right? People have asked, how in the world will we ever get 180 books in during the year? Well, it is really plain and simple. We read one picture book a day. This is my first year doing the 180 Book Challenge and I cannot believe the growth I already see in my students.
The idea comes from Donalyn Miller. She talks about the importance of reading picture books to students each day. The discussions, the questions, the inferences…it is all part of the learning process.
The question I get asked the most often is “How do you select your books?” We meet together as a team and decide which books will fit the needs of our students for the week. For example, if we are teaching Character Traits, we may choose books such as My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother, Enemy Pie, Amazing Grace, Thank You Mr. Faulker, and The Recess Queen.
While those books work great with multiple skills (most picture books do), these books help guide our discussion for teaching Character Traits. All week, we can use these books with our activities and let’s face it…the students just love read alouds.
We also use these books to find out mentor sentences each week. We do a mentor sentence a week to do multi-sensory grammar and model great sentences for the students. The picture books we choose have great mentor sentences for us to use!
Now, do I own 180 books? No way. I am building my collection but we get books from the library and borrow from other teachers. Our GT teacher has a great selection of books. We borrow from her pretty often. Doing the 180 Book Challenge does not have to break the bank.
We also use Vooks, a virtual book company. They give every teacher the first year free! It is an incredible website, full of great books that are animated and include captions. Check into it if you have not, I think you will love it too! (and it is free! lol.)
Kids love read alouds. It is our job to expose them often to great books. The 180 Book Challenge does this daily.
What are your thoughts on the 180 book challenge? Let me know in the comments!