Summer Mini Camp

Teaching Kids to Choose Books at their Reading Level

Dear Parents,

Are you constantly wondering exactly what reading level your child is at? Would you like to see your child able to choose appropriate books that match their level? Do you want to hear your child tell you that they would like to go to the library, or even better want to read for pleasure? STOP wondering while your child STARTS becoming an independent reader.

June 8-12, 2015

Who, What, Where You Ask? Oh and How Much?

Who: Classes are open to students entering kindergarten-grade 5. Classes meet 60 or 90 minutes a day for grades K-2, and 60-90 minutes a day for grades 3-5. Times are TBD based on client/ group needs.

What: The first session will include an opening book talk for 10 minutes. Students will share books, authors, series, characters, etc.... to build excitement for entering the world of books. The remaining time will be spent getting to know ourselves as readers.

This will include having the students fill out a Reading Inventory about their reading lives. With this tool, students think about their interests, where they like to read, when they like to read, and why or why not they do or do not like to read! Finally, students will get their very own library card so that they can check out books themselves.

Remaining Four Sessions: Skills that students will practice:

1. Using The Three Bears analogy, students learn what is a "just right" book for them. They are praised and encouraged for reading a "just right" book. What is a "just right"book?

Students choose books for independent reading for many different reasons: “I just saw the movie,” “I like the pictures,” “My friend just finished it.” Students usually choose books that appeal to them visually. The front covers are designed to capture their interest and emotions. However, many students do not choose a book that they can actually read independently and with success (Parks, 2004).

Where does Goldilocks come in?

A successful way to help students choose an appropriate book is to teach them about the “Goldilocks” strategy (Routman, 2003). This strategy has three categories: Too Hard, Just Right, and Too Easy. The students answer several questions for each category. If the answers are “yes,” the book probably fits into that category. Modeling this strategy for students will help them understand before they have to apply it independently. This strategy has been modified from its original to meet the needs of primary students.

  • Too Easy
    • Have you read it lots of times before?
    • Do you understand the story very well?
    • Do you know almost every word?
    • Can you read it smoothly?
  • Just Right
    • Is the book new to you?
    • Do you understand a lot of the book?
    • Are there just a few words on a page you don’t know?
    • When you read, are some places smooth and some choppy?
  • Too Hard
    • Are there more than five words on a page you don’t know?
    • Are you confused about what is happening in most of this book?
    • When you read, does it sound choppy?
    • Is everyone else busy and unable to help you?
2. Becoming Immersed in Books

Students will spend time with pre-selected bins of books. They will be given time to read, and reflect through writing, words, pictures, or other modality what reading the book was like for them. They will then decide whether the book was just right. Students will be introduced to popular series collections of books to spark interest and build students' awareness of the vast amount of selections that are available on just about any topic they can think of.

3. Fiction vs. Non-Fiction (the level often changes) Reading fiction and non-fiction are two very separate types of reading. Non-fiction is harder for most kids, but not all. When students are evaluated using a quality research-based reading assessment, non-fiction is introduced much later than fiction, and is assessed in a completely different manner. Learning how to use text features like pictures and captions, headlines, bold words, and the glossary and index are part of the experience of non-fiction reading.

Some students who struggle in reading often read non-fiction just as well if not better than fiction. This is because in order to get struggling readers to read, parents, teachers, and tutors will often do what they think is "giving in" when their son or daughter wants to read a magazine, an article, the sports section, or the words they see wherever they go in the community and world. PLEASE give in!!!!! These children's interests are what is getting them to even attempt to read. So, give them as much as you can about the Miami Heat, Bugs, Puppies...People they know about or care about can work too, (Walt Disney, Lego creators, singers, etc... *This idea will be ongoing for all readers!

Fluent readers gain vocabulary, content, and

4. Asking questions to further reading

The beginning of the session will be spent doing lots of wondering. When students wonder about the world, they usually want answers. Books can help them understand their many questions as well as lead to further questioning. Students will independently choose a book to read and retell. They will be able to use materials to help with their retell including props, costumes, etc... This will culminate our reading adventure!

Sunny Isles Beach Branch Library
18070 Collins Ave
Sunny Isles Beach, Fl.

*Broward Residents will use the Hallandale Branch on Biscayne Blvd.

Oh and How Much?

90 minute sessions------------------------------------------------------------ $90.00 p/day
60 minute sessions (does not include supervised, independent 15 minutes of perusing the aisles and sections of books that are just right, check out book time)---------$80p/day

*Snack will be included

You can sign up for the first session and an additional two sessions of your choosing.
You can sign up for the week at a discounted price!!!!!!!

Register as a group of 3 or more and receive a special rate!

Registration Information

Registration begins Tuesday, May 19, 2015 and ends on June 3, 2015. Please email me at to register, ask questions, or to get the scoop on the coolest mini camp EVER!