Currently Reading Signs
I honestly don't remember where I first saw this idea, though I'm sure it was a Nerdy Book Club friend, but I made the sign and put it outside my door early in the year. Shortly afterward, my principal asked if she could have a sign on my door also. Then it spread to the other middle school teachers. Of course to the librarian, her aide, and the reading specialist. And then to some elementary teachers downstairs. Now even to other educational aides throughout the building. It is difficult for a student to walk through our building without seeing what adults are reading, and it's so important for them to see that adults are readers as well.
Because I wanted students to also have a voice in sharing what they are currently reading, I made signs for each of them to keep updated as well. This is located right outside their locker bays and in a high traffic hallway that all students in the building pass through on their way to specials classes.
Books Read This Year Display
Early in the year when I was doing goal setting with students, I set my personal goal to read more books than I read last year. I read 68 novels last school year, and as I quickly realized, I was on pace to read quite a few more this year. In addition, this is the first year I've done the 40 Book Challenge (adapted from Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer). I wanted a way to celebrate the reading I was doing this year, while also encouraging students to keep going with their challenge, and having a way to share the books I've read with students. Thus the Books I've Read This Year door (which morphed to the window next to my door so it could be seen at all times). It was pretty easy as I just use the book cover image from goodreads and put them four to a page in a Word document with two columns. As soon as it went up, I had students commenting on it and asking about certain books. It's been a great way for me to keep track of and tally the novels I've read this year, which is something I'm asking my students to do with the challenge, and I try to always do anything I'm asking them to do.
|This is from a few weeks ago. I'm now up to 82 novels!|
Unexpected benefit? The ability to have a visual to reference when students or staff are asking me about any of the books I've read. As I've come to realize, reading such a higher volume of books than in the past leads me to sometimes want the visual to help remember them all.
*Notes: The reason I say novels is because I consider picture books to be real books, but wasn't including them in my tally for the book challenge purposes, and I didn't want to diminish the importance or value of picture books for my students. Also, I'm tallying for the school year because that's what my students are doing. I have a separate calendar year tally via goodreads. Finally, I added the line "How many have you read?" because it was important for me to try to put the focus back on the students and how it could apply to them.
When I shared this one on twitter, and was encouraged to post it on Pinterest as well, I had a great response from other teachers who were doing their own versions of these Books Read Displays. I'm so glad that something I did on a whim has led to students across the country encountering a similar celebration and sharing of reading in their own classrooms. It has been so fun to see the tweets from teachers who have done their own doors/posters/hall displays. Through the discussions, some enhancement ideas: indicating not only read alouds, but also rereads, audiobooks, novellas, etc. Also, using star stickers to put on each cover to show what I thought of each book.
Other versions from some twitter teacher friends:
|Andrea's Hall Display|
|Beth's Hall Display|
So that's what I've been working on this year. It's been a lot of fun and inspiring for me. If anything clicks with you, I'd love to see your iterations of any of these ideas!