It’s the National Year of Reading in Australia – a great excuse to promote a love of reading in the classroom.
Our class schedules are so full that while we all spend time trying to teach students the skills for reading, I sometimes fear that we don’t spend enough time allowing students to read for pleasure. It’s going to be a priority of mine this year.
Some quick and easy ideas for promoting reading in the classroom.
1. Set up a reading space that is attractive and inviting. Make it an area your students will WANT to spend time in. Ensure there is a mix of genres, including factual texts, as well as a good range of ability levels. You can read about my little reading corner here.
2. Allow time every day for some independent reading. While the class are reading, spend at least some of this time reading for pleasure yourself. It will provide you with a nice quick break while being an excellent role model for students.
3. Share books that you enjoy with the class for no other reason than to have fun. While a discussion is good, don’t provide worksheets or insist that students complete written tasks for these ones. Click here for a list of 250 great books for children.
4. Encourage some interested students to start a book club, or facilitate one yourself. This website has some great suggestions for starting a book club for children.
5. Encourage students to discuss and respond to what they are reading.
- Photocopy covers to display on the classroom walls and surround them with comments and ratings from students.
- Ask students to write book reviews for the class. Keep them in a display book in the reading corner for other students to refer to when selecting books.
- Set up a class blog and invite students to post their own book reviews
- Set up a class blog about the books you are sharing with the class. Ask the class to respond to simple questions, such as ‘Who was your favourite character?’ or ‘Did you think the book had a good ending?’ For longer books,this could become a term project.
A few helpful Websites
Reading Rewards This site will allow you to set up a home reading log and the opportunity for children to rate and review books. I’m thinking of using it with my Year Two class, but it will be particularly motivational for Stages 2 and 3. It might be a fun way to stimulate discussion about books, and an easy, fun way for students to log their home reading.