As teachers, one of our goals is to foster a LOVE of reading in our students. We want them to leave our classrooms WANTING to read for pleasure. We want them to pick up books on their own. We want them to carry a book around where ever they go and read it in their free time.
In order to achieve these high expectations, we have to create an environment, a happy place, to read willingly in our classrooms. Our classrooms have to say, "Hey, come in here, grab a book and snuggle up." The question is, how do we do that?
Well, the first thing we can do is spy on ourselves as readers. What conditions encourage us to read? So I reflected on that question myself. Here are some conclusions I came up with. Perhaps you agree with some and possibly can add more.
As teachers, we can mirror this and do the same in our own classrooms. Now you might be thinking, how am I going to provide my students with lots of beautiful books? It's expensive and students use them and eventually they are no longer beautiful. Years ago, I used to buy my books at garage sales and second hand stores. I had good intentions. I wanted to fill my bookshelves for my students. The problem was that the kids didn't want to read the old worn and torn books I bought. They wanted to read the new beautiful books. And there weren't many of those in my room.
Enter Donor's Choose! Platforms like this help teachers fund classroom projects like purchasing new libraries. The best way to advertise your Donor's Choose is on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Use some hashtags to help more readers see your post and tag a few authors from the books you'd like to purchase for your class.
So I encourage you, if you are reading this in the summer months, think about how you might organize your reading space. If you are reading this during the school months, you may not want to change everything all at once, but slowly make subtle advances towards an environment that will catch the eye of readers and encourage a love of reading not just in your room but for years to come.
Please leave a comment and feel free to share pictures of your reading space.