Last week, due to technology woes, my fifth graders were had a free day in the library; the perfect time for a fun activity involving reading: Read Arounds. I learned of Read Arounds from a conference workshop with Steve Layne. His passion for reading is contagious! A Read Around is like speed dating with books. When I explain it to my fifth graders this way, they all laugh and think I’m crazy. But when I explain that they get to look at 15-20 books before class ends, they settle in. Students are given a book to look at, but not for very long- only 30-60 seconds. The idea is to peak their interest and give them more books to look at before class ends. When students are told to pass the book, they are able to hold onto the book for one pass if they want to. It can be hard to know if students are engaged during the Read Around (it is so quiet!), so I take about five minutes at the end of class to talk about the books; it is my chance to show the students how excited I am about the books, too. (Okay, I really gush!) After we talk, students are given time to write down any titles they want to read and/or checkout that day. This is when I know there is excitement! Students are writing down titles! At our most recent read around, I featured some of Steve Sheinkin‘s (one of my favorite nonfiction authors!) books (Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, Port Chicago 50, and Bomb). All three titles were checked out that day! The timing was perfect because we are hoping that Steve Sheinkin will be visiting the Rochester Public Library in the spring.