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Book Shopping


New Member
How often do your kids "shop" for books? Which seems to work better: once a week or as needed? I teach 2nd and this is my first year with Reader's Workshop. We're just beginning to start selecting books from the classroom library and not sure how I'm going to do that part yet. Thank you for your help!


Senior Member
What has worked for my first graders is shopping once each week. My students sit at tables and each table shops on a different day of the week. The only time it changes is if we have a day off, then two tables shop on the same day. I like this because it keeps the library less congested. I also believe that it helps my students to make good choices when choosing books. One week of having five books that are too easy or too hard will help teach them to check out some books that are a little closer to their just right level!


Full Member
Book shopping

I have book shopping as a morning job, and they're only allowed to do it twice a week. With my second graders this seemed to work--it never got too congested. I also said they could have up to 10 books in their boxes, which seemed to last a good amount of time.


Full Member
this is tough!

i have struggled with this a lot! now, i differentiate this process. i teach second, so i have a huge range of readers! we go from level E to level Q in my class, so it's unrealistic to assume book shopping would be one-size-fits-all.

i used to have Monday as my shopping day and would have kids shop for 5 just right books during their centers. I noticed that it really only worked for a handful of kids. for example, my lower readers (levels F, G, H) need more than 5 books and they need a lot of help picking! my higher readers (O, P, Q) need less books and less help.

so, now I do my just right book mini lessons at the guided reading table, where i can show them what books are right for them and about how many they should have. As kids get higher and more independent, I let them switch books mid-week if they need to.

when i conference, i always peek in their book bins to see how they're doing. usually they all need more nonfiction and poetry, but we're getting better! many of my conferences involve shopping with the kids- getting them excited about books and showing them how certain books can help them.

it's really un-authentic to stop thriving readers from getting a new book...and it's sometimes unrealistic to trust that kids, especially 7 year olds, really know which books are right for them, as much as we teach them. i am 100% behind student choice, but sometimes they need a helpful nudge in the right direction (and a teacher to make a book sound exciting!).