We are one full week into the school year! Hooray! One of my goals this year is to do more to inspire reading. I already read as many new titles as I can to share with my students and teachers, but I don’t see the excitement in the students. Throughout the previous school year, I posted a “Currently Reading” sign in the library with a picture of the book I was currently reading. Sure, this shows that I read (a lot!), but what about my students? Where are they getting their inspiration from?
This year I have added some new ways to inspire readers. First is my new display of “Mrs. Arendt has read…” Since the first day of school, I have added a picture of each book I have read. I will continue to do this throughout the school year. I have had several teachers comment on the display, curious to see what I have just finished. Hopefully students will get curious, too. I only hope I don’t run out of room before the school year ends!
I have also started sharing book trailers at the beginning of each library class. Sometimes, book trailers just do it better. I can talk about how great a book is, but sometimes, students like the visual hook. I have had fun looking for great book trailers of new titles and even mixed in a few oldies but goodies. But after the first week, that wasn’t really enough. Some of the books aren’t available yet, and I don’t want students to forget the titles.
So, I made book marks for students to use to keep track of books they want to read. It was pretty simple: Got Books: What to Read Next. I got the idea from Donalyn Miller’s book Reading in the Wild. She believes that students should have a list of titles they want to read so they always have an idea for their next great read. I always have a list of books to read that I keep on Goodreads, but I also keep a list on my computer (and phone) so I can keep track of the books I really want to buy as soon as they come out! Now, students can pull out the bookmark out of their library folder and add the title from the book trailers we watch. After library classes today, some of my third and fourth graders added Nightmares by Jason Segel and Kristen Miller to their bookmarks. Now, they will will not be at a loss for what to read next!