Choosing Good Fit Books

Choosing books is a skill that students need to use their entire lives. It's a skill that can help them learn to love reading, and it can also help them when they research different topics and try to find specific information or learning that they need.

The Daily Five program says the definition of a Good Fit Book is:a book that the reader enjoys, which can be read with a high level of accuracy, fluency and comprehension.

The method we teach and use throughout the grade levels is called IPICK.This method is taught and reviewed all year long. Parents can also encourage children to use this method when they choose their books at home or at the library or bookstore.

IPICK stand for:

I choose a book.
Purpose; Why do I want to read it?
Interest; Does it interest me?
Comprehension; Do I understand what I am reading? (Encourage students to read one or more pages to check if they understand what is going on).
Know; I know almost all the words. (Encourage students to read another page and use a strategy like the 5 finger method, counting on one hand the number of words they do not know. If there are more than 5 unknown words, the book is too difficult).

Click here to read about how our Daily Five Book Room helps students choose Good Fit Books...

What if a child keeps choosing books that are not a good fit?

Lessons that compare choosing books to choosing other things can show that there is no need to be embarrassed when we choose a book that might be a good fit for us, but might not fit others so well. The Daily Five provides examples of lessons that use the IPICK method to choose what shoes to wear (see the Daily Five book, pg. 31-32). They also suggest using the metaphor of weight lifting to show that choosing one that is too easy will not help us get better, and choosing one that is too difficult is not very enjoyable and might even harm us.

Once students are identified as choosing books over and over that are not a good fit, teachers can schedule individual meetings with students frequently. You could help those students choose books by going through the steps of IPICK out loud with them. Or you could look at the books they chose together and discuss whether or not they are too easy, too hard or good fit books.

If students keep choosing books that are too difficult, it's a good idea to identify them as "goal" books. Remind them that the more good fit books they read, the better they will get at reading, and later they will be able to read their goal books.

Sometimes students choose books that are too easy. An occasional easy book is okay, but it becomes a problem when most of the books the child chooses are too easy. Some extra support in targeting their interests and encouraging opportunities for students to recommend books to each other often helps.