Saturday, August 24, 2013

Library Reading Promotion: Adorable Westie "Hot Reads" Sign

Putting our adorable westie to work for my library, this is my latest reading promotion idea.  If nothing else, it will get the kids to ooh and ahh at the adorableness of the westie and perhaps take a peek at the books on either side of the sign.

Here's hoping!

Am planning on placing a couple of books out each week -- one for early readers, one for older ones -- on book stands that will showcase the books for the kids, along with the adorable pooch sign above.  As much as possible, I want to use books that I have read, so if the kids have questions I will be able to talk from my own reading experience.

I do genuinely try to make an effort to read as many books as possible in our library so that I honestly can speak from my own reading experience with the students.  I find that an authentic, personal recommendation always works better than an "I've heard it is good" variety, especially with the older kids who like to talk about the book as they are reading and find it annoying to have to catch me up.

By switching the recommended books out weekly or bi-weekly (depending on how much time I have to throw together book talks on the fly as the school year gets rolling), I am really hoping it will allow for a bit more interest from the kids about the books that are highlighted.  Because it will allow me a short book talk about the books with my classes as well, we can also discuss information about genres, authors, series, and all sorts of other assorted goodies along the way.

I got the sign idea from the wonderful Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers by Steven Layne.  There are so many great ideas for reading promotion in this book, and I find myself referring back to it often for another spark of inspiration in a classroom activity or to try to help a reluctant reader find some enthusiasm.

Thought this might be a fun idea for others to use, too.

Even more fun is tailoring the idea to your own school and personality.  And not just for the library, but for your individual classroom.  Steven Layne recommends that a classroom teacher using this also be seen reading the book in class, especially with younger reluctant readers he says this can be a huge catalyst for sparking reading interest.

With the sign, you could use your own pet in the photo or a class pet if you have one (a hamster would be adorable!), or with teachers around the school, or rotate the recommending "character" here and there.

As an example, I have put together a slide show on our school iPad Mini for my classroom rules using characters from Monsters University, so I will likely do a "Sully and Mike" recommend at some point early in the year, and maybe one from "The Librarian" at some point later in the year.  (As an aside:  I have searched high and low to find a "Librarian" plushie or figurine or anything to put in my library, but to no avail.  Please, please, Disney people, make a plushie of the Librarian!)

As you can see, there could be some serious fun for both the teacher and the kids with something like this.  (Did I tell you the Steven Layne book is awesome for sparking inspiration or what?)

Will let everyone know if this works well.

PS -- A reader e-mailed to ask me what I was using for book stands for my library.  Last year, I ordered a 6-pack of small, acrylic stands for the library.  For less than $20, I got six nice stands that worked well to showcase books in my library without taking up a huge amount of counter space.

I used the smaller stands originally for book display with these fantastic "book shelf talkers" that I found on Risking Failure.   I loved the shelf talkers, but these particular acrylic stands were too short to use with them for most of my books -- had to get bigger stands so the signs would stay upright instead of drooping over.  I've been looking for a good use for the smaller stands ever since and I have found the perfect one with the "Roxie's Reads" sign above.  I think my students are going to love it.

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