Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Buddies

Do you have books that don't belong anywhere in your library?  Well, I definitely did!  There were several books that just wouldn't fit into a category like I wanted, or I had several of that category already.  So, I decided to start putting those books to the side until I had saved up a little over 100 books.  This past year, I was able to take those 100 books and turn them into my "Book Buddies."  I can have up to 22 students in my class, so I made enough for a full class.  There are 22 bags with 5 books in each one.  My students take a new book bag home on Monday to read throughout the week.  Here are some pictures of my book bags:


I must say that to buy the bags and have them embroidered was a little pricey, BUT they will last me for a very long time.  Also, they are washable and bleachable!  Each bag has a different number so that we can keep up with who has which bag


Here are some of the things that helped my system stay organized!





And the pictures that go with the links above...

Do you have parents that need to be convinced that their child NEEDS to read at home?  A friend of mine shared this with me and it does the math for them!

There has to be accountability when it comes to the book buddies because I have spent a lot of personal money on the bags.  So, I send home a letter at the beginning of the year explaining all of this to my parents. 

Here is a picture of one of the bookmarks that  I include in each Book Buddy bag.  There are 3 bookmarks total.  They each have different reading strategies that the parents can use to help prompt their child while reading.  The link is above... the 1st bookmark on the link is double-sided, then there are 2 others included.  I run these are brightly colored cardstock so that they catch the eye!



I must say that I loved using the book buddies last year.  My kids were all very responsible, and did not lose any of the bags or books!  I think it especially helps with those kiddos that don't have a very print-rich environment at home.  The books in the bags are different levels.  Some books they might need help with, while others they can read alone.  We had a very successful first year with the book buddies, and I can't wait to use them again next year!

Hope you find this helpful for your classroom!  Do you send home books weekly or have any other ideas?  Please share!

36 comments:

Molli927 said...

I am soooo interested in this-- I hate the books I have that just sit around- not leveled, not for a theme & not for a read aloud lesson-- this sounds like the perfect solution. definitely one of those "why didn't I think of that" ideas. my only problem is that the last read 20 min document won't open in google docs... help please!

sydney said...

Wow! what a fabulous system. Where have you been hiding before this past month. Thank you Thank you!!
I can't get 20 min. one to open though.
Have a great night.
Lessons Learned

amy.lemons said...

I'm sorry! I tried to link it up again. If it still doesn't work I can email it to you. Just email me at lemons.amy@gmail.com and I will send it to you! Sorry for the inconvenience! Sometimes technology is not on my side!

Sydney- thanks so much! Is it crazy that I didn't even know teacher blogs existed until last month! I don't know what I did before hahaha

YearntoLearn said...

I'll have to give this a go! Thanks.

Denise
Yearn to Learn Blog

Mrs. Ibarra said...

This is such a great idea! Now I just need some bags. Thanks!

weety said...

These are awesome. Thanks for sharing them with all of us!

It's a Baby Allgood said...

Because you are clearly more creative than I...what are some other ideas for bags that are umm, a bit cheaper?? And what do you do w/ that kid that says "I read all my books already" on Tuesday???

Dual Kinder Teacher said...

Super idea! I'm in the process of organizing my Read Alouds and wasn't sure what to do with my extra books :)

laughinbrunette said...

Great idea! I've done take home bags before, but never with more than a couple of books at a time. I have collected the $1 bags from Target...and they are awesome- lots of different styles..themes. I have Dr Seuss ones and even M. Sendak ones! Can't wait to use them with your idea!

amy.lemons said...

Kristy- try Oriental Trading

http://www.orientaltrading.com/large-nonwoven-bright-tote-bags-a2-14_69.fltr?prodCatId=388632&tabId=1

They have several different options for tote bags. Instead of doing embroidery, you could either use a fabric/permanent marker, or just make a tag to put around the handle with ribbon.

Tammy said...

Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!
Tammy
Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten

Tiggeriffic 2nd Graders said...

The totes are adorable! I also send home the letter regarding the 20 mins a night of reading. I'm so glad you had luck with books being returned--I do reading homework with my kiddos and some kids just didn't read or return books. I had to stop sending books home with them. It's usually only 2-3 kiddos though. Thanks for sharing!
Stacee

sydney said...

Hey Amy - I saw you mention a fabric marker to someone - I wanted to also suggested an iron on transfer. They make them that you can run through your printer and then you just iron it on. I did this with a drawing my kid made on all of our field day shirts. hmmm, maybe i'll have to post about that too.
Lessons Learned

Jill said...

Thanks for sharing all of these resources! I especially like the 20 Minutes page - that is an awesome way to encourage parents to read with their kids. I will definitely have that out on Open House night. :) Thanks again!

Magnificent Multiagers!

Mrs. Mugurussa said...

Wow- I LOVE THIS! thanks for linking up I already have enough books, and I was thinking about permanent bags for these. Maybe it is time to whip out that sewing machine.
Tiffani
Time 4 Kindergarten

Debbie said...

What great resources! We have a reading program in our school where each child is given a bag with 3 books to be read at home. The books go home on Mondays and Thursdays. Sadly,many times many of the books are not returned, parents don't care about reading to their kids. It is so important to get the parents involved in reading to their kids and knowing the importance of reading. I can't wait to use these next year!!

http://teachingmaketheworld.blogspot.com/

The Lesson Plan Diva- A 1st grade blog said...

Thank you so much!!
Lesson Plan Diva

dbednars said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I can't wait to try this.
dbednars

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing the Dear Parents Letter! I love that! SaylorsLog

Jodi said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!! I have so many books that (like you said) just don't fit anywhere in my classroom library. This is genius!

My question is...how do you store the bags? You said the kids return them on Thursday and take them home again on Monday; what do you do with them while they're in your classroom? Do you have a place to hang them? Also, do you have a good system for checking to make sure all the materials have been returned?

Thanks so much!!

~Jodi

Lory said...

Thank you so much for a great post. I LOVE that letter to parents about reading 20 min a day... black and white... sometimes the truth hurts... but it's not too late for our little second graders. Thanks for the great ideas.
Lory
Lory's Page

deana said...

I just stumbled across your blog and can't believe I hadnt found it sooner! Awesome ideas!

Nina - Second Gr said...

What a great blog...so many ideas I don't know where to begin. I love your book buddies idea and was wondering if you had the parent letter and the read 20 minutes letter in spanish as I also have some ELL students in my class. Thanks!

amy.lemons said...

No, I don't have it in Spanish! Sorry :(

Mrs. Hynes said...

This is such a fabulous idea. I have so many books I didn't know what to do with too! Now I'm ordering canvas bags from ingreetings.com. They seem sturdy and they're $4.95 a piece. I was going to do Oriental Trading, but thought I'd be wasting money...I only want to buy these once.
I'm going to start my book buddies in January since my 2nd graders are starting to show a little more responsibility bringing home/returning 1 book per day.
Thanks for all the wonderful ideas. I wish I found your blog sooner!

jglam7 said...

Are kids also allowed to check out other books during the week if they finish those books? I have some students that will read chapter books but it takes them a few weeks to read them so I wouldn't want to put them in the bags. Also, there are more than 22 weeks in the year. Do you change out book after everyone has read all of the bags?

Beg, Borrow, and Teach! said...

I was looking for reading comprehension strategies for reading when I came across this post. I was inspired to blog about it at http://begborrowandteach.blogspot.com/2012/03/reading-comprehension-bookmarks-freebie.html
and I became your newest follower!

mrhein said...

Hi,

I subscribe to your TPT page and have enjoyed using the great resources that you have created! I would love a copy of the reading 20 min. a night letter. I couldn't get it to download from the link. My email address is meganrhein@gmail.com.
I have switched from minutes to 20 pages for my 3rd graders because I found that some students were reading 40 pgs. in 20 min. and some were being lazy and only reading 3. They now summarize or respond in their logs for every 20 pages of a book.

McMillan Musings said...

What a fabulous idea! Where have you been all my life?!?! Could you please email me all the Book Buddy documents? I cannot get them to open. Thank you!
cheerfulcherrita@gmail.com

Ida said...

Hi This is fantastic!!! I'm going to start this in August for the new school year! Could you please please send me the Book Buddy Checkout Form? I couldn't open it in Google Docs? And could you possibly please please send me the Book Buddy letter with Permission slip in Word format so I can edit it please??? I teach Pre-K and want to modify it to work for my grade level. Please let me know if you can do this, I would greatly appreciate it. email: ida.montes@gmail.com Thank you!

Army wife said...

I would love a copy!
Amy.meskimen@yahoo.com

Sarppa said...

Thank you, this is great idea. I will test it here in Finland. I`m teaching also second graders (eight years old girls and boys). I have very good readers, but there is always some lazy pupils and parents :) - and they need some fresh view. I just translate your facts in finnish. Very good schoolyear to you and your students. :) Sari from Finland

Anonymous said...

I love the 20 minutes form! May I have permission to share with the other 3 fourth grade teachers at my school?

Ann said...

Thank you for this wonderful program. Would you be willing to send me the docs? I can't find the green "direction" sheet I see in your book buddy picture up top. I love this and can't wait to get started! Thanks again!
abouaphakeo@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Would you be willing to email me the docs for the Book Buddy Bookmarks and the 20 minutes a night? I teach 1st grade in a spanish speaking school and love your documents but need to provide them in Spanish as well as English. My email is missblades@gmail.com.
Thank you!
Sheri Blades
Napa, CA

robin said...

Amy, I really enjoy reading all your ideas! This is a great idea, however, I'm reluctant to allow my students to take the books home with them. I too have a large collection of books from which I can incorporate this idea but thinking I might just try it on a temporary basis with cheaper bags and maybe only 3 books to see if the students return them. I teach at a title 1 school and many of the students NEED an incentive like this BUT the likelihood of getting the books back is sketchy. I'm up for trying it though. I think it's an excellent suggestion!