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    book bags
    By Cathy-Dee

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    First book bags.

    I just use zip lock bags for my book bags, but I'll have to check out Superstore when I'm back in Edmonton as it would be nice to have better bags too.

    Thankfully my school gave us lots of money to buy leveled books for our classrooms, so these are the books I use for sending home. I tend to start everyone off around the same level until I have a chance to see where they are all at. I usually send home 2 books each night and sometimes 3 for the weekend. The students are supposed to return the bags daily even if they didn't read the books.

    I also include a sheet that is simply a form that has a place for the name of the book, date and parent comments. At the beginning of the year I have a letter that goes out with the first bookbag that explains why I am sending home the bags and how I use the form.

    I have these as word documents, so if you would like to see them just send me an email. I wouldn't be able to send them until late next week as I'm in Colorado right now visiting my brother and sister-in-law.

    Sometimes I will send home a reading sheet as well for them to practice at home or a list of sight words.

    For me the most important part is to get them reading daily at home which in my community has not always been the easiest thing.

    I keep track by using the sticker charts you can buy. I put them up on a wall and every day I check to see who has read their books - so the parent must fill out the form or I don't put up a sticker for the student. I used to just put up a sticker if they had their book bag at school and then I found a couple of students were simply leaving their book bags in their lockers every day. When they fill in the chart (20 stickers) they get a trip to my prize box.

    As far as "Primary Success" goes - I say YES!!!

    I've been getting it now for about 3 years and I enjoy every issue. There are tons of ideas and poems and hints which I have used quite a bit over the years. I'd say try it for a year and see how you like it. I think she will send you a sample copy as well.

    I'm on her grade one email list serv as well which is a lot of fun. There are quite a few teachers on it and quite a few Canadian ones so that is also nice. I have the instructions on how to join as well so if you want that information too just let me know.

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