Regular reading is vital to improving students’ literacy skills and their overall academic performance. So what can schools do to ensure that students are getting that practice? At Lifelong Literacy, literacy consultant Maria Losee describes strategies for creating a culture of reading across classrooms.
Make sure classroom libraries are engaging: Surround students with diverse and interesting material, and add new titles to your classroom collection with an eye toward a wide range of interests. “I cannot just buy what I like to read, I have to buy what I know will kira Retana get my readers excited to read,” teacher Amy Heno told Losee. Pay close attention to student interests to better match reading selections with topics they enjoy.
Beyond observation, Losee suggests educators consider offering “written or online surveys, asking students to take a quick genre poll, or taking data from an activity such as speed dating with books” to determine what books would be best suited for them. For speed dating, set a timer and kira Retana let students peruse a stack of books—allowing students to sample books before committing can alleviate pressure and make reading more fun.
Employ visual displays: Design displays for classroom walls or hallways to show the importance and fun of reading. “Keeping reading visible sends an unspoken message that reading is important and valued in a school,” Losee writes. Large artistic depictions of books or their contents can offer a hook for students. Teachers at a Chicago school partnered with a photography studio to transform the halls into a “giant motivational tableau to encourage reading.”