I love to read. I am a book nerd. I always have been. I was THAT kid who sat on the wall and read during recess. In high school, I had a job at the local library. In college, I shelved books for Barnes and Noble. Now, I have an Amazon Prime membership just so I can get books delivered within two days. When I finish a book, I get sad because I feel like I am saying goodbye to good friends. Yup, I'm a book nerd!
As a teacher, I strive to inspire life-long readers! I want to have a room full of book nerds. At the end of the year I will judge my effectiveness as a reading teacher, not on standardized test scores, but on the desire and excitement that my students show towards reading. I will chant this to myself repeatedly as I analyze the test data.
Here are some ways that I inspire kids to LOVE reading!
If you look in this picture of my library, you will see that the Wimpy Kid bucket is empty. That is because every one of those books is being read by a student at the time the photo was taken. If I were to take this picture today, the Humphrey book bucket would be empty!
Teachers are not rolling in the extra dough so we need to be creative about how we fill our classroom libraries. Here are some ways that I add new books to my library on a regular basis:
- Write a Donors Choose project. See my post HERE for some tips and tricks.
- Send home monthly Scholastic book orders. I attach a letter to my orders, email parents, include a blurb in my newsletter and text with the Remind app. I always have a handful of kids place an order. Then I can use my bonus points to get books for FREE for the classroom!
- Purchase books from a used bookstore such as Half Price Books. Once or twice a year, I head to the used book store to splurge on new-to-us books for the class library. These stores often have extra teacher discounts so don't be shy about asking.
- Purchase books from retiring teachers. Every year, there is a teacher or two who is retiring or leaving the profession. I ask about their classroom library! I have had the opportunity buy (for a super reasonable price) a ton of books this way!
Some of my favorite read alouds for the third grade include:
- How to Be Cool in the Third Grade
- Third Grade Angels
- Gooney Bird Greene
- The World According to Humphrey
- The Penderwicks
- The One and Only Ivan
- Fish in a Tree
I also do two book auctions per year where all students get a new book to keep! During the year, my students earn raffle tickets for behavior and turning in homework. They use these tickets in the book auction at the end of the semester. I get the books for this auction using Scholastic bonus points and through Donor's Choose projects. Sometimes I buy Scholastic $1 books for the auctions, but I never have to spend much. These auctions are so exciting! Kids are cheering, jumping and applauding. All that is excitement over books!!! You can read all about how I organize this auction by clicking HERE.
After we finish a book in book club, the entire group is excited to read another book in the series! Kids who weren't in that group are always asking me if they can read the book too! Kids that beg to read books in my classroom will continue reading long after they leave my classroom. I use my Book Club Graphic Organizers for Fiction and Nonfiction to practice all of our reading standards during book clubs.
It is your turn! How do you inspire life-long readers? What do you want to change or add next year so that you have a classroom that is book centered?