Reading Boxes Help with Beginning of the Year Reading Assessments July 07 2009

Reading Box Craft Project

Every teacher knows that having a streamlined classroom routine is crucial in order to maintain classroom management. I remember when I starting teaching 2nd grade I wondered … What can students do quietly while I complete beginning of the year individual reading assessments and small reading groups?

The Reading Box craft is perfect for the first days of school to help solidify expectations for daily reading. Imagine your students walking into the room after recess, opening their Reading Boxes and quietly reading while you do individual assessments.

Our desktop reading box, nametag, book report form and book mark will make a great project for your new students during the first week of the new school year!

Reading Boxes - How to Get Started

Towards the end of your morning circle time explain that reading is very important. You will be meeting with each student individually or in a small group and you need complete silence while you meet with him/her.

While you are having reading meetings, the rest of the class is expected to open their Reading Boxes and get to work without instruction directly after recess. They will have a special place to keep their leveled reading book, pencil, eraser, book report and daily reading log.

Download the reading log, book report form, nametag and bookmark to go along with your student Reading Boxes!

Showing the students an example box of your own with all supplies inside will help the kids get excited about creating one of their own. It will probably take about an hour every three days to complete the Reading Boxes, reading log and book mark.

You may need to set aside an additional time for a lesson explaining how to complete the book report. This process will take approximately four days. For your convenience, under the directions section, you will find the days indicated.

Reading Box with Contents:

  • Reading Box – Used to store a leveled book after they are able to meet individually with the teacher.  Until then they can choose one from the classroom library..
  • Reading Log – Explain how to fill out the log and write unknown words inside.  There are to be no interruptions for unknown words, but you do want to know the words during your individual meetings with the student.
  • Bookmark – Used to mark the place in the book.
  • Book Report – Briefly show the students the book report.  This can be explained in more detail during a lesson at a later date.  Explain that if a book is finished they are to complete the book report.  During the student’s individual meeting or small group meeting he/she can show you his book report.  As soon as the book is completed start the book report.


  • Click on these links to download: Desktop Nametag, Reading Log, Book Report Form & Bookmark (1 of each per student)
  • Scissors & white glue or tape
  • Paint & paint brushes (OR several sheets of construction paper and markers for each student)
  • Shoe box with lid that can be lifted off (not attached)
  • Empty egg carton (2 egg holes per student to hold pencil sharpener & eraser)
  • Wikki Stix or chenille stems (pipecleaners) (2 per student to hold pencil in place & two 1 inch pieces for mouths on faces.)


Teacher (prep time or get help from a parent volunteer):

  1. Print out and complete the name template (one per student)
  2. Print reading log, book report log, & book mark (one per student)

Reading Box

Have fun getting to know your students with this fun beginning-of-the-year classroom project!

(Day #1)


  1. Glue the empty egg cartons to the lid of the shoe box.  Let the glue dry.
  2. Paint the shoe box and lid OR cover with construction paper and color the egg carton with markers.  Let the boxes dry overnight.

(Day #2)


  1. Glue the nametag to the lid.  It should be glued towards the farthest edge.
  2. Glue 2 pipe cleaners to the lid with enough room to fit a pencil in between.
  3. Open the box and place a reading book from the classroom library inside until you are able to do the individual reading assessment.

(Day #3)

Reading Log & Book Mark

Students (If you have the luxury of volunteer parents, here’s a job for them):

  1. Fold 3 pages in half.
  2. Fold construction paper in half
  3. Insert pages inside construction paper and staple three times.

(Day #4)


  1. Students cut out and color bookmarks.

Book Report

Explain each section in detail on the overhead projector using the classroom read aloud book. (Pretend that you finished it.)

Teachers, please share you ideas on how to expand on the Reading Boxes. We'd also love to hear about what you do in order to complete beginning of the year reading assessments.

Copyright 2009, Teaching Resource Center

Designed by Carol Brooke