Talk to Students about what YOU are Reading, too.

Last week I posted this outside my classroom door, and I also made one for each of the other teachers in the English department:

It’s a small and easy step towards engaging students in conversations about books, reading, and all of our reading lives.

I got the idea from my dear sweet husband who was in Bahrain last weekend for some NESA professional develois-reading-sign-from-bahrainpment. He saw these around the school and knew I would love the idea.

I created a simple document, printed them out, and had them laminated. We use dry-erase markers so we can erase and write new titles.

Students are asking me about the titles on our signs. And our department is talking to each other about our reading lives.

Even if you are worried about the conferences, note-taking, notebooks, or assessments in the workshop model, you can do this simple thing. It’s a public display of your reading life, and it makes a difference to your students.

Here’s what mine said last week:

As I wrote it and then talked to students about my current read, I was inspired to book talk on a new theme. Sometimes one good practice leads to another. Embrace it and roll with it. the-main-character-is-dead Pictured are Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Opposite of Loneliness, The Lovely Bones, and Everything I Never Told You. We added Thirteen Reasons Why and The Lying Game to this list, too.

More on themed book talks in a later post.

My poster now has the title The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy written on it. And Everything I Never Told You is on a lot of students’ next reads lists.

It works.

Feb 12 UPDATE 

Our teacher-librarian extraordinaire took on the task of making these signs for more of our teachers and it’s been trending around school… Here are a few examples below:

The high school math department has also been asking for signs (or at least my high school math teacher-husband has asked), so we will get them made this week. Rumor has it (from my eighth-grade son) that the middle school teachers are starting to use them, too.

What an easy and effective way to start a conversation with students about their reading lives.

Author: adventuresinhighschoolworkshop

Julie has been teaching secondary language arts for nineteen years, spending the first fifteen in rural Central Oregon, four in Amman, Jordan, and is currently in her second year teaching in Managua, Nicaragua.

2 thoughts on “Talk to Students about what YOU are Reading, too.”

  1. Steven Layne describes something similar in his book Igniting a Passion for Reading – all of the teachers in the schools where he works, and sometimes all the school staff including cafeteria workers, nurses, bus drivers, etc. create a sign or holder for their current “Hot Read.”


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