“Just Right?”

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It is hard to think about planning the launching readers’ workshop unit without the classic “Just Right” book lesson.  Teachers spend hours planning their “Just Right” lessons to ensure their readers are matched with books that will support growth.   Year after year, it is one of the first lessons readers receive. 

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The lessons are predictable.  The “Just Right” book anchor chart hangs proudly on the wall.  Teachers create book marks to share with readers to help them remember how to select “Just Right” books.  Read alouds center around “Just Right” books.  Readers are assessed on their ability to select “Just Right” books.   Readers young and old can tell you the five finger rule and the sections of the library that hold the books that are “Just Right” books for them.   Many readers can teach the lesson on “Just Right” books.  So with all of the teaching going on to equip every reader with tools needed for book selection success, why do so many of our readers say they don’t like to read?  Why do we have readers that wander aimlessly when it time to shop for books?  Why do so many readers spend reading time doing everything they can to avoid reading?  Why have so many readers become masters at the art of fake reading? Why do our readers fail to pick “Just Right” books that will keep them coming back for more?  

I just have to wonder if the lessons teachers are working so hard to teach have the “Just Right” stuff readers need.  If not, how do teachers help readers to find the “Just Right” books that will make them fall in love with reading?   What are the lessons with the “Just Right” stuff?  A question worth exploring.  

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