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3 Ways To Make Book Shopping Simple–For You and Your Students

February 14, 2019 No Comments
Make book shopping easy for your students

I love the excitement my students have when they get a new book from the classroom library.  I love that they find joy in picking out new titles and can’t wait to share them with their friends and dig right in.  As much as I love the happiness these new books bring them, book shopping itself can become a much longer process than it needs to be.

If you find yourself wondering after 30 minutes  of book shopping how your 5 students are still undecided at what books they’re going to take with them and your bins are emptied all over the floor; you’re not alone.  This simple act for your students can sometimes become the exact opposite; stressful and anxiety-filled for you and your students.

So, I wanted to share 3 ways to make book shopping simple for you and your students.  These 3 tips are sure to help streamline the process and make book shopping much more enjoyable.

1.  Limit The Amount of Books
This was something I had to learn the hard way.  My first year teaching, I wanted my students to have access to all the books.  But, that also meant that I had book hoarders all over the place!  We would have to clean out desks just to find all of my missing books.  I learned my lesson and started to put a limit on the amount of books my students could have in their book bins at all times.

I found success in limiting my first graders to around 5 books.  There were always exceptions but I thought this number was the perfect place to start.  I didn’t require them to pick from their leveled book bins, but I did want them to have about two books that were just right books.  The other three could be a combination of books that were easier reads or one challenging read that interested them.  I always wanted them to feel like they had something to look forward to in their book boxes that would challenge and excite them.

2.  Have Students Book Shop Once a Week
The importance of rereading books cannot be ignored.  Students benefit from repeated readings and from reading their books in different ways.  That’s why I think it’s so important to have students book shop and only switch out books once a week and not any more.  Having your students get acquainted with their books for at least a week allows them time to really enjoy their selections, challenge them to read the words that might be difficult for them, share them with friends, and fall in love with new characters.

If you find it helpful, a book shopping schedule can be beneficial.  I prefer to have my students book shop during a choice for their morning meeting activity (as part of their morning work bingo).  But, if your students need more structure, I highly recommend assigning each table a different day to switch out their books.  That way, you don’t have a mad rush of students trying to get to your library each day.  I also find carving out separate time for book shopping to be highly effective.  My students switched out their books for a morning work activity, but this can also be a part of your center routines.  It’s what works best for your students that really matters.

3.  Plan, Plan, Plan.

Book shopping menu for student use

We ask our students to plan and organize so much of their day so why shouldn’t book shopping be any different?  I find that if students go into an activity with intention and a set plan, things run so much more efficiently.  This efficiency is essential in a successful book shopping for your students.  If students go into the classroom library with no plan in place, it can go on forever.  You know what I’m talking about.  The student who can’t find ANY book that excites them, the student who has TOO MANY books that they want, or the student that wants ALL of the easiest readers.

That’s why I created these Book Shopping Menus to help your students plan for their book swaps in a fun and easy way!

Book shopping menu for students

Simply print out these half or full sheet book shopping menus for your students.  You can keep them in your classroom library to have students fill out before they go book shopping or laminate a copy for each student to keep in their desk.

The menus have three sections; Appetizers (books I would like to keep), Main Course (books I would like to get), and Dessert (books I will give back).  By having your students fill out these book shopping menus, it ensures that they are prepared to go book shopping with a clear plan in place.

Book shopping menu for students

These cane be completed throughout the week, if students see books that they hope to get or if they feel like they’re finished with a book and want to move on with a book in their book basket.  It’s a simple tool that will keep them organized and ready to switch out books in no time!

I truly hope that these book shopping menus help you and your students simplify this activity and take the stress out of it!  Book shopping is an essential routine for students to grow their love of reading and it shouldn’t be a stressful experience.

These menus can be found for FREE in my TpT store here!

Book shopping menu for students

I hope that these tips help you simplify book shopping in your classroom and helps make choosing books from your classroom library a fun and exciting activity for everyone!

Thank you for stopping by!

Book shopping menu for students

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Hi! I’m Jayme! A former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom sharing toddler activities, mom tips, and educational resources to help you learn and play with your children. I believe in the power of PLAY and creating meaningful activities for you and your little ones to enjoy together.

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