Modeling I PICK with Our Personal Reading


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We revisit and reinforce the importance and benefits of good-fit books frequently and in a variety of ways throughout the year. One way is to share how our own reading material meets the I-PICK criteria. This is a great way to demonstrate real-life reading for a variety of purposes, and can lead to meaningful one-on-one conferences or student self-reflection regarding their own books. 

For this lesson, I shared six items that were a perfect fit and one that wasn't. 

  • I Love My New Toy by Mo Willems—I am rereading this to see what strategies I might teach with it. These Elephant and Piggie books are a beloved series, so I know engagement with the lesson will be high. It is a good example of how an easy book can still be a good fit. 

  • A toy catalog—This is filled with well-made toys that spark a child's imagination. I am reading it to find a perfect gift for a grandson. 

  • Writers ARE Readers by Lester L. Laminack and Reba M. Wadsworth—This book is all about flipping reading instruction into writing opportunities. I think it will help me be a better teacher, so I can't wait to dig into it. 

  • Food Network Magazine—Since I am always on the prowl for a great new recipe, this is a perfect fit. 

  • Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson—On my Kindle, this historical fiction novel is my before-bed reading.  

  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamilloThis is one of my favorite books of all time. I am rereading it just for fun.

  • Game Development with Unity by Michelle Menard and Bryan Wagstaff—This book was disqualified because it met only four of the five traits. My purpose was to learn more about game development so I could carry on a more informed discussion with my husband, who teaches it to high school students. It is interesting for that reason, and I am able to fluently and accurately read the text. However, when I look at things like

Whenever you create a new JavaScript script in Unity, it automatically derives itself from the MonoBehavior class, giving the script access to all its built-in functions and inherited members, like special variables. (Menard & Wagstaff, 2015, p. 177)

it becomes painfully apparent that I don't really understand it at all. I am going to need an easier book if I really want to learn about game design. This book is a good fit for my husband. He understands all of it. He would never make fun of me for needing an easier one. This brings up an opportunity to honor where we all are as readers and learners. 

Using our good-fit chart for reference, I went through each title, putting a check mark on another chart if it met the standard. This is a simple and powerful visual, and one that students can easily replicate on a piece of scratch paper if they want to do see how well the books in their book box fit. 


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