Effect of book choice on read-to-shelf engagement
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Elementary teachers who are using "The Daily 5" and/or any independent reading strategy as part of their literacy block often wonder how to select books for their readers and who should do the selecting. This action research focuses on book choice during Read-to-Self time (part of the Daily 5 routine) and how it affects student engagement. There is some discussion on whether students should choose the books they read during Read-to-Self time or if the teacher should chose the books for the students. Some research indicates that teachers should direct the students' choices of books for Read-to-Self time. Teaching students how to choose "Just Right" books as well as having an organized classroom library that includes organization by interest as well as leveled books would scaffold selection. This study measured and compared the amount of time that students were engaged during Read-to-Self time while reading books that they chose on their own and while reading books that the teacher chose for them using guided reading levels and student interest to guide the teacher's choices. The third grade students chose books using a "Just Right" model (see Appendix 1, page 25) as well as interest. The teacher chose the books for the kindergarten students, so that each book was at their independent reading level and of interest to the students. This research shows a slight increase in engagement during Read-to-Self time when the teacher chose the books for the kindergarten students, but an increase when third grade students choose their own books.