How many books should be in my child's bookbag?
At most, your child should have two books from my classroom library and two books from the school library. They may also add in books of their own, as long as their bookbag doesn't get too heavy. Students are allowed to choose books of their interest, but they have been taught the I PICK strategy to help them make smart choices.
P= Purpose: What is my purpose in reading this book? To persuade me, to inform me, or to entertain me?
I= Interest: Am I interested in this topic, these characters, this plot?
C= Comprehend: Can I comprehend what I am reading? After reading one page or section, can I go back and do a retell or summary of what I just read?
K= Know: Do I know most of the words? Can I pick one page or section and read it out loud with fewer than 5 unknown words? Students have been taught to hold up one hand with five fingers up while reading a page of text. Every time they get to a word that they don't know, they put down a finger. If they still have some fingers left standing by the end of the page, then the book is a relatively good leveled book for their stage of reading right now. If all fingers are down, the book may be too challenging and difficult right now. Either the student can have it read aloud by a loving adult or can return to it later in the year.
Parents should assist their children nightly in "going through" their bookbag to make sure that books are at an appropriate level (not too easy and not too hard) and that books are being returned and exchanged after they are finished.