If we expect our students to become lifelong readers, we need to model that in our own lives. There are so many different ways we can share our reading life with students. One-on-one conversations are always ideal, but it can be difficult to talk with each and every one of our students. Here are some additional ways you can share your reading life with your entire school community.
Some of these methods are more effective for sharing with students. Others work better for teachers and community members. Consider using a combination of different sharing methods so that you can reach more people. Also, don’t just share books you’ve read at your students’ grade level. Sharing the “grown-up” books you read is important too because students need to see that reading continues into adulthood (obviously, keep it school appropriate. Your students don’t need to know if you read Fifty Shades of Gray).
Display books you’ve read
This is one of my favorite methods of sharing my reading life with students. I print out the covers of books I’ve read using my color printer, cut them out, and tape them with double-sided tape to my office window. These change up periodically as I read new books. I also track the books on the state list I’m reading using those colorful bookmarks. I describe a similar process over on my previous post about creating an Instagram display.
Create an e-mail signature
If your students don’t have e-mail addresses, this one won’t reach them. But it’s a great method for sharing with your teachers and community members you contact. Just add a line to your e-mail signature like this:
Currently Reading: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Do you use a site like GoodReads or LibraryThing to track what you read? If not, I highly recommend it. It can be a great way to remember what you’ve read and make book recommendations. Full disclosure: I’ve neglected my GoodReads account in recent years, but it’s something I plan to get back into. If you track books on either of these sites, you can link to your account or create a widget of books you’ve read. Insert this into your library website and you’ll have an automatically updated display of books you’re reading.
What do you do to share your reading life with students?
Author: Diana Rendina
Diana Rendina, MLIS, is the media specialist at Tampa Preparatory, an independent 6-12 school. She was previously the media specialist at Stewart Middle Magnet School for seven years, where she founded their library makerspace. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and learning space design and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace and is the author of Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget.
Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development
I love Jennifer LaGarde’s idea of sharing what you’re reading at your library/classroom door. I’d love to provide teachers with small whiteboards so they could share their reading, too. Even at the middle school level, students like to emulate their favorite teachers!
Great ideas here, Diana!
Thank you!! I just added the Goodreads widget to my website and e-mail signature! (I used to use Shelfari on my website, which I think is gone now, and had totally forgotten!
Thank you for the visual inspiration! Can you share which bookmarks you are using in your display? They look like they might offer kids a challenge to read a different title that fits a genre or topic?
@Suzanne – those bookmarks are actually ones that I created myself using Google Slides. The process is a bit hard to explain in a comment, so I think that’ll probably be my next post :)
For the quick basic rundown, I created an outlined text box and typed in the title of a book (ones on our state reading list). I then added new text boxes for each title and stacked them on top of each other until I had the whole bookmark. I adjusted the font sizes to make it look nice. I then grouped them all together and copied them multiple times on the slide so that I could print out four bookmarks on one sheet. If that’s confusing, don’t worry. The tutorial will help to make things clearer.
I’m taking a teacher-librarian course and my instructor recommended that I check out “Renovated Learning”. I’m glad I did, as I find Diana Rendina’s posts have a lot of great ideas that can be easily implemented. Her opening line: “If we expect our students to become lifelong readers, we need to model that in our own lives,” really struck a chord with me. When I first started teaching, I didn’t often share with my students about the courses I was taking on the side or the reading for pleasure that I engaged in on weekends. Fast forward almost 20 years later and my kids get to hear me talk about my personal reading all the time.
One suggestion I would add to Rendina’s post is to invite staff to create book trailers for their favourite books. This could then lead to students creating book trailers that could be shared with other classes or even school assemblies. I first heard about book trailers from this site: http://lansdownelibrary.wikispaces.com/Book+Trailers
Good morning I started reading books for children and Bible stories for children on Facebook hoping that parents will let their children listen. I wanted to know how i could reach more children than on Facebook. Do you have any idea how i could reach more children? Thanks
I don’t have a website don’t know how to set one up, If you have a suggestion i would be very appreciative for information. Thank you so very much