Friday, August 29, 2014

Celebrate This Week! 8.30.14 Making Reading Visible

It's always good to end the week on a positive note.  Sometimes we concentrate on the negatives.  We have a choice.  Choose positive.  Choose to celebrate.  I will be joining Ruth Ayres and her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week.  Check out all the other celebrations HERE

This week I'm going to celebrate making reading VISIBLE!  Sometimes we think students "get" reading and what it means to be a reader, but they don't.  Sometimes they need to see it.  I'm a reading specialist in a K-4 building, and the past couple of years, it's been my mission to do this - to show kids books and make them want to get their hands on books.  I get the "itchy finger syndrome" any time I walk into a bookstore.  It's when my fingers are just itching to pick up and look through all the books that are there.  I want kids to feel that!  I think the "itchy fingers" start for me because I know what I'm about to find when I get into a bookstore.  We need to teach kids what lays ahead for them when they walk into their classroom library or school library.  It can be overwhelming and sometimes they need direction.  Or maybe they need a challenge, a new direction.  I try to make that direction visible by constantly putting up new bulletin boards and posters.

A new picture book and chapter book are highlighted each month.
The book cover is posted along with a description of the book,
what type of reader would like the book and a little
book teaser.

All students who read the book are invited to
review the book and rate how many 
stars they would give the book.

We knew Billy Miller was going to be a great book!

Introducing kids to the idea of a TBR pile!

I show what I'm reading, but then also give 
a quick review so students get an 
idea about the book.

My 2014 TBR pile.  I just posted my new one this week!

These posters are from last year.  I've already started adding some new ones this year and have ideas for other posters.
* my colleague and I already have our new "what is Mrs. ___ reading?" signs.  For the record, I'm reading The Time of the Fireflies and Mrs. Fornero is reading Life on Mars.
* we both put up "What did Mrs. ___ read this summer" posters with book covers on them
* we both put up posters showing our TBR lists.  I shaped mine like a bookmark and left space to write the date I finished the book and room for a brief review
* the next poster that is going up is going to spotlight the previous month's new releases.  Going up soon include covers of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Dash, 365 Days of Wonder, Quest, Little Elliot Big City, Always Abigail, Flashlight and many more.  What a month August was for new releases!
* I am going to put posters up of the books that are on our state Monarch and Bluestem Nominee lists.  
* Last year I followed along with Mr. Schu and Mr. Sharp as they reread the Geisel winners and Honor books.  I posted those books with the year they won the award.  It was a great way to shed light on an award most kids had not heard of before.  I'd like to continue to bring awareness to all the different award winners.  Some ideas are brewing.

I know students look at these lists and it makes them think.  Teachers tell us that kids talk about the books that we've posted and I've seen other kids write down the titles on TBR lists.  
How do you make reading and books visible?  Share any ideas in the comments!
Making an impact.  Something to celebrate!


  1. So important- making reading visible. Thanks for including photos...and you are right, we have tbr piles but we should teach this to our students. Thanks for this piece.

  2. Michele! So many great ideas! Love them all. Brilliant to also share your TBR "pile"

  3. Loved seeing all these ways to surround students with books and making reading visible. And boy, can I relate to itchy finger syndrome in a bookstore!

  4. I have the itchy fingers syndrome too! I just wish my bank account did! I love all of your visuals for reading. I just think that is so important, especially for younger kids. It seems older kids have other avenues to explore but I still do many if the same things with my 6th graders! Hopefully we will be tweeting about books soon!