First Graders learn how to find a "just right" book. In Kindergarten, we focus on using the library, choosing a book, taking care of a book, and returning it. First graders are really beginning to get into more independent reading, and to encourage their selections, we read "Goldie Socks and The Three Libearians" and learn about the five finger rule to choose a just right book. We share the story in our story tower with students acting out the parts of Goldie, Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear with puppets. I have instructional posters to accompany the book that discuss books that are "too hard", "too easy," and "just right" as well as a poster that describes the steps in the five finger rule.
Students are also instructed that if they really (really, really) want a book that we consider "too hard" they can check it out along with our self created Read With Me bookmark. This bookmark serves as an indication to adults at home that we are aware that the book may be too hard, but that we encourage the child to read the book with an adult. This way, student choice is not too limited, but they begin to acknowledge appropriate books for their grade level and reading ability. We have found this system to be a success in helping students to select appropriate books and also as a vehicle to communicate with home about student selections.