9 Proven Ways to Teach with Take Home Packs


Educators work tirelessly to provide the in-school resources students need to learn. But how can you help students continue to learn when outside the classroom? Scheduled breaks from school, impromptu snow days, remote learning and hybrid schedules all push school districts, teachers, parents and students to be flexible. 

So, how can educators prepare for the times students are away? One way is to invest in take home reading materials—a pack of books and instructional materials, like Booksource’s Take Home Packs—that will meet student learning needs in a variety of situations. There are multiple uses for take home reading materials in and out of the classroom. 

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Using Take Home Packs for Remote Learning

Remote learning is becoming more commonplace, which means a lot more screen time for students. Studies have shown, however, that it’s vital for the mental and physical well-being of children, that screen time is limited. Providing students with physical books is necessary even if online learning is available. The amount of free reading done outside of school has consistently been found to relate to growth in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency and general information. Besides, nothing can replace the experience of kids having real books to hold and read.

Studies also show that providing literacy resources and activities to families positively impacts student literacy achievement. Providing take home reading materials to families will provide them with the tools they need to help their reader be successful and academically stay on track. 

1. Use for assessment and accountability during remote learning.

Each Booksource Take Home Pack includes four to five books and a comprehensive workbook in a sturdy zip bag for grades PreK-6. The workbook is designed to be used with any book in the Take Home Reading Pack or can also be used with other books a student is reading. If you send these packs home with students, there are ways to use them for assessment and accountability:

  • Teachers can assign certain books along with questions, activities and worksheets to be completed over days or weeks. 
  • Teachers can review worksheets with students during online sessions. 
  • Families can send photos of the completed work in the workbook to the teacher.  
  • In addition, the expectations for how students at various grade levels complete the work will vary. While a sixth grader may be able to work independently and write their own answers, a Pre-K student will need to draw pictures or have an adult write their answers for them.


Using Take Home Packs for In-Person or Hybrid Learning 

You are likely seeing your students in-classroom most of the school year, or your district may use a hybrid approach to scheduling where students learn in school some days and at home others. Take home materials can be used in school and many of them can be adapted to also support students when they are learning from home.    

2. Use for read alouds and whole class instruction. 

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Reading aloud to students is one of the most enjoyable and useful activities in an elementary classroom. Reading aloud creates a positive classroom culture, develops a shared language around literature and inspires a love of reading. Read alouds can include intentional read alouds as well as shared and guided reading experiences. 

When using Take Home Packs in the classroom, teachers can choose a book from the pack or a book from their classroom library to read to the class. Students can complete the activities and worksheets in their individual workbook.

3. Use to support independent reading. 

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The most critical skill for academic success—and success later in life—is the ability to read well. Research shows students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas and have greater content knowledge than those who do not. 

Take Home Packs are great for independent reading and helping students assume more ownership in their learning. Start by helping students set personal reading goals and use activities in the workbook to further engage students, challenging them to think outside of the box or show deeper understanding.

4. Incorporate into small group instruction. 

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Take Home Packs can be included in small group instruction like guided reading groups and the workbook materials allow students to read and work collaboratively with their peers.  

5. Provide intervention for struggling readers. 

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If students are to become better readers, they need time to practice what good readers do with text. Take Home Packs can help readers who need additional support in reading. For most readers who struggle, one reading lesson per day is not enough. Using the Packs to incorporate additional reading lessons can be beneficial for students who struggle. Also, Take Home Packs are leveled, so students can read a set of books that are just right for them. 

6. Offer enrichment to optimize learning opportunities. 

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Take Home Packs can be used by readers who will benefit from the additional activities. Assign a pack to each student, and they can work on it whenever they have finished their regular assignments. Having a wide variety of independent work available helps to ensure that students are optimizing their learning opportunities throughout the day.

7. Incorporate into morning work. 

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When the bell rings to start the school day, teachers must check for parent notes, take attendance and deal with other morning changes or problems that may arise. To take advantage of every moment of instructional time, it’s helpful to set a morning routine for students using Take Home Packs. Teach kids how to use the materials and set expectations about how much work is completed each week. Students will then know what to do each day when they enter the classroom: get their pack and get to work.  

8. Use in extended day programs. 

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Before and after school programs typically include time for various activities including reading. Take Home Packs can be assigned to each child, so they can practice reading and work on their comprehension skills before or after school each day.   

9. Use to simplify substitute teaching. 

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Take Home Packs are a great resource for substitute teachers to have in case they discover extra time on their hands. They are also great if there is a sudden teacher absence and there are no lesson plans. The Packs can be used with the books they include or with other books in the classroom library. 

Are you looking for Take Home Packs that support reading comprehension both in and out of the classroom? Visit the Take Home Packs page for more information about our Take Home Packs for grades PreK-6.


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