Back to School:
New Year, New Ideas

With summer nearly half gone, school will be in session again before we know it! New students, new classes, and a new year ahead brings opportunities for refreshed innovation and more developed attention to student needs. Below are some suggestions to help you get started!

Take Advantage of Technology!
Have you ever considered using Skype to conduct a reader's theater project shared with a classroom across the country? Teachers at St. Cletus School in Illinois and Gold Hill Elementary in South Carolina did! These Kindergarteners and first graders collaborated on a reader's theater production of the popular children's story, "The Hungry Caterpillar," by Eric Carle, communicating through Skype for preparation, sharing supplemental activities, and the performance! The project was a huge success, loved by teachers and students alike."When St. Cletus’ Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Hedlin, asked them what the best part of the Skype was, they said 'everything!'" writes a local news source. Read the article and get inspired! Another set of schools also performed the same story with Skype in a choral read. Watch the Skype reader's theater performance to see for yourself (but be warned, the video quality is not ideal).

(Image) Kids Performing Reader's Theater on Skype

Be Conscious of ELL Student Needs
According to census information, the population of minority groups in the United States is higher than ever this year, making English Language Learners (ELL) or those with minimal English skills a likely presence in your classroom. As their teacher, it is up to you to help them acclimate the best you can, with attention to cultural differences, clarifying your classroom rules, and helping them understand the day's events and lessons as best as possible. Get smart tips on this subject from Reading Rockets. Remember that multi-leveled reader's theater is an ELL-friendly reading fluency activity, because students just starting out with English can read easier roles and still be part of the classroom group as a whole. Learn more about why reader's theater is so great for English Language Learners in the article below.

(Image) ELL Students Enjoying Playbooks Reader's Theater in Reading Teams

Do you have reader's theater ideas for the new school year? Activities that worked great last year? Please share them with us and we will suggest them in our next newsletter so other educators and their students can benefit from your creativity and experience! Please email with your stories.

Schedule Your Custom Staff Development Opportunity This Fall

Many schools and districts find the weeks just before school begins an ideal time for staff development in preparation of the new year! Playbooks® is offering training workshops this Fall to both new and existing customers, with materials purchased in a package along with the session or with materials purchased separately or previously. To accommodate budget restrictions, Workshops on the Web are also available to prepare staff for your program.

We can provide flexible scheduling; just name your desired time and place and we can come to you! (Please contact us soon for most availability.) Training can be fit to a short 90-120 minute session up to a half or full day.

(Image) Workshop in session

Staff Training Summary

Laugh while you learn in this training workshop teaching
step-by-step implementation
, and bringing expressive reading to life with fun volunteer demonstrations. Participants will learn the numerous benefits of multi-leveled reader’s theater, why it is so valuable for both achieving reading growth and as a theater art, and how to effectively and easily integrate a reader’s theater program into their curriculum while guiding students for maximum success in reading fluency and personal development.

Once they complete the training session, participants will be able to direct daily or weekly reader’s theater sessions and activities with their students in small groups, or train line staff on how to do so. Reader’s theater activities taught include role assignment techniques, script rotation and repetition (to meet the guidelines of Repeated Guided Oral Reading, the best proven method of building reading fluency), interspersed with accompanying cross-curricular activities and/or acting games best used with the reader’s theater. Attendees will also learn how to track student progress with provided pre- and post-assessment forms and tools.

Session is interactive, with participants taking part in a reader's theater script in small groups of their peers and practicing implementation of the guidelines they just learned.

60-Minute Workshops on the WebPlaybooks Reader's Theater Webinar Image
Playbooks® Workshops on the Web are shown live and your questions and interaction are welcomed.
Learn more.

Call 1-800-375-2926 or fill out this survey
for a custom staff training quote.

View more workshop details and pricing guide.

Reader's Theater Immersion Method Puts ELL Students at Ease and Quickly Builds English Skills With Authentic Conversational Dialogue

Reader's theater is, of course, a well known method of Repeated Guided Oral Reading and is used widely for building reading fluency. While teaching English as a Second Language has its own challenges and intricacies, many of the most important techniques for instruction apply equally to native speakers and English Language Learners.

Reader's theater is congruent with the Six Key Strategies for Teachers of English Language Learners. It fulfills the second strategy, "guided interaction," by incorporating four important language skill areas which students practice in group settings: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, when used in combination with the supplemental activity packets provided with Playbooks®.The strategies of "explicit instruction" and "meaning-based context and universal themes" are also built in components of reader's theater stories. Playbook® stories teach both academic and cultural content with compelling storylines that motivate vocabulary acquisition and language skills in a relatable context.

With multi-leveled reader's theater, students are exposed to other students reading higher and lower level roles with expression in an immersion method that is communicative and authentic. The "conversational dialogue" nature of reading a story like a play replicates the ideal environment for second language learning in the classroom, making reader's theater a great tool for bilingual and ESL curriculums.

Watch how one teacher helped struggling second language learners and other students blossom with Playbooks® Reader's Theater!

See Playbook® stories available in Spanish
and Dual English/Spanish!

Be sure to check out this month's free featured "All About Reader's Theater" Exercise, perfect for ELL students!

Need a Midsummer Programming Boost?
Watch Our Free Staff Development Webinar
For Summer School and Camp Reading Fun!

Rapid Shipping Available to Aid
Your Last Minute Curriculum Improvements!
(Image) Camp Reader's Theater Kids

View our Camp Reader's Theater™ Kits, designed for 4, 6, or 8 week programs.

Browse Playbook® individual scripts.

Playbooks® sponsors the American Camp Association's (ACA) Explore 30 Camp Reading Program to bring reader's theater to campers and help prevent summer learning loss!

Click here to find our free one-hour staff development webinar for camps with national reader's theater expert, Dianna Cleveland, and her guest, Lance Ozier, national camp and education expert! Learn how social interactive reading in small peer groups is one of the best things you can do to help lessen summer learning loss.

(Image) American Camp Association Logo

Lend & Extend
Reader's Theater™ For
Parent Involvement

Help your summer school students
read with their parents, the single
most important activity parents can
do with their children
, according to
the U.S. Department of Education.

Great for your classroom lending library in the Fall as well!

(Image) Lend and Extend Pack and Playbook Story Set

This simple accessory pack allows you to split a typical one-story set of six books into three Lend & Extend™ take-home packs, designed to be checked out of the classroom or school library. Learn more and order here.

Feature Story of the Month

Students will enjoy this story, featuring a popular summer treat,
while learning not to overindulge in sweets for a healthy body

(Image) Rhyme Travel 2 Cover

The Ice Cream Dream

An Original PlaybooStory

Content for Grades 2 - 4
Reading Stages 2 - 4

Written by: Patricia Fine
Illustrated by: John Portez

Story Synopsis:  Mr. MacRicee is a man who loves ice cream. He eats it every day and enjoys all different flavors. His favorite store is the Sweet Treat Shop where he goes after dinner for a single scoop cone. Things are about to change, though, because Mr. MacRicee likes ice cream a little too much. You could never imagine the kind of trouble that is just around the corner.

(Image) BoundForPlymouth Character Pad

Click here to view summary and image of each character.

July Special

When you purchase a Workshop on the Web
for at least 2 attendees, receive 5 additional attendee seats free
at a $50 value!

Playbooks Reader's Theater Webinar Image

Offer valid until
August 31st.


Mention Coupon Code:

Featured Free
"All About
Reader's Theater"

Activity For July

Choral Reading With a Shared Script: Great For Young, Shy, Struggling,
or ELL Students

(Image) Free Reader's Theater Exercise With Choral Reading

2011 Catalog
Updated with many new titles!
(Image) New 2011 Catalog
Download here or
request a bound catalog!

For Playbooks, Inc. W-9, Vendor Numbers or Sole Source Vendor Approval Information, click here.

Click here to request a Book Sample or Catalog, Download our Full Catalog (PDF), or click here for a complimentary
"Get Started" proposal.


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