Modeling a Readerly Life

My school has implemented a system to help all the staff show students that they read for pleasure:  Each staff member has a frame outside his/her classroom or office that says “(Mr. Smith) is reading…”  In this way, students can see that, not only does their reading teacher read outside of school, but so does their math teacher and their science teacher and the lady who works in the front office and the hip janitor.  The students enjoy this and I’ve enjoyed it to as I’ve gotten to know a few of my coworkers a little bit better as a result.

Another way I try to show my students that it’s cool to read for fun is by reading with them during silent reading periods as often as possible.  When they can see that I’m really into my book, they are more likely to make an effort to get into theirs.  I also try to bring in my authentic reading materials as often as possible to work them into lessons.  For example, I brought in a magazine that I had just gotten in the mail the night before to show students how I preread articles and I once used brought in my Calkins text to show students how many post-it notes I use to keep track of good ideas I find in my reading.

More suggestions for how to model a readerly life for students?

2 thoughts on “Modeling a Readerly Life

  1. I love the idea you presented in your blog post! It is something I want to think about for my school for next year. Like you referred to, I’m sure it sparks conversation among staff as well as students. What a great, motivating idea to let students peek into their teachers’ reading worlds and what a great way to model reading!

    I think you are doing great things for your students. Unfortunately, we can’t force our students to love reading, but by modeling reading in several different forms and by several different people and showing students it is cool to read, you and your staff are helping students to be set up to be readers.

  2. One thing that has worked really well in my classroom, is having my own personal Book Box. Each of my students has a Book Box that is full of books that they have shopped for in the classroom library, from my leveled texts, from the school library or from home. They keep their reading responses, comprehension journals and reading strategy bookmarks inside. I, too, keep a Book Box full of books that I am reading. I have yet to have my own comprehension journal, but that would be a good modeling piece to implement next year. Just a thought…

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