Last year I tried something new at the beginning of the year. As many of our first graders are only beginning to read and write in September I wanted to support their independent reading as much as possible. So, I collected multiple copies of books and read aloud as many as I could in the first couple of weeks. Books in series are great for this too. I read the various Betsy Lewin and Doreen Cronin books about Duck, some Elephant and Piggie and some Pigeon books by Mo Willems, and some Froggy books. (There were many others but these are favorites for this year's class.) Then, because I have multiple copies these are the books they are 'reading' at the start of the year.
I have found this to be a fabulous way to start the year and, as long as I am choosing books I think are good, I love that the kids come back to these books again and again. By this point in the year they all have lots of books from guided reading as well as access to our full classroom library. But these books are still very popular.
I noticed this little guy reading a Froggy book during independent reading last week. Later, when we had a few minutes, I asked him to read it to me in the hallway. He is still very much a beginning reader and this book is too difficult for him to read independently. But he loves it and the other books in the series. He remembers them and knows the repeating patterns (the mom or dad calling Frrrrrrooooooooogggggggyyyyyyy! and Froggy answering Wwwwwhhhhhhhaaaaaattttttt?). Listening to him 'read' this book made my morning.
I hope this is a sign that he sees himself as a reader as much as I do.