This summer my classroom library got a makeover. Mostly because it gained another 1,000 books! I’ve taken over the classroom of a retired teacher who left her beloved library behind for my students to continue to enjoy. I’m beyond grateful for this kind gifting, and I’m having a fabulous time getting to know some of the new books. I can’t wait to introduce these to my students.
Since I will have several students back in my classroom since I moved with this class from 7 to 8 I want to think about how I can use this to an advantage. One of my ideas is to have each student who had me last year, and therefore knows my library, to find a book they enjoyed and share it with someone joining us this year. You could also do this in your own classroom. Ask students to see if you have their favorite book and let them share with the class or a partner.
Another activity that I have used in the past is called Speed booking. It’s similar to the concept of Speed dating. I always like to share this funny eHarmony commercial to introduce the activity.
We start by talking about the things that “attract” us to books. We make a list of those things, and then talk about how we use them to make decisions about if it’s a book we could enjoy reading. I have pre-stacked books on student desks, that are often arranged in a circle. I like to choose books that get a lot of traffic throughout the year, books that I’ve purchased over the summer, or books that I think often get overlooked. Obviously I can’t show them all my books, but this is a great way for them to get a cross-section of what’s available. So be sure to provide all the different genres represented in your library, as well as reading levels.
Students are then given a sheet to record any titles they find interesting. This sheet is kept in their binder so when they finish a book they have a place to go for ideas about what to read next. If this sounds like something you’d like to do in your classroom check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store for detailed directions and the record sheets. This year I’ve included a record sheet for the more visual learners in the form of an Instagram feed. Students can draw or copy the book cover into the square and then caption why they think it’s interesting.
Do you have a great idea for sharing books with your students? Be sure to leave them in the comments below.