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Creating a Culture of Reading in Middle School


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VAASL 2015 Presentation

Published in: Education
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Creating a Culture of Reading in Middle School

  1. 1. Rachel Grover Librarian Fairfax County Public Schools
  2. 2. STUDENTS Engaging students as active and thoughtful readers Photo Source:
  3. 3. Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) • When? • Developed based on The SSR Handbook (2000) by Janice Pilgreen • All students (and teachers) are expected to read during this period. • TIP: Administrators also read in a classroom setting as well. • As encouragement, classrooms are randomly chosen for a “drop in” to make sure everyone is reading. Source: children-reading/
  4. 4. What Students Say: “I liked silent reading time because it got me back into reading. Before, I didn’t pick up a book unless it was required. Now I’m not sure what to do with myself if I’m not reading!” “I read nine books last year. That’s more than I have read in my entire life!” “Silent reading helps me relax and escape from reality.” “I love that it’s time set apart in the school day for me to continue reading my favorite series. By the time I finish my homework, I’m too tired to read.” “It’s the only time of the school day when I can choose for myself what I want to read.”
  5. 5. Pilgreen’s Eight Factors for a Successful SSR Program 1. Access 2. Appeal 3. Conducive Environment 4. Encouragement 5. Staff Training 6. Non-Accountability 7. Follow-Up Activities 8. Distinguished Reading Time
  6. 6. How does YOUR school do SSR?
  7. 7. Bookmark Contest • Students submit up to 3 original bookmarks • Must have to do with our school & reading • 2 weeks for submissions – Collaborating with art & tech ed • Voting timeline & who votes • The ones that don’t win • Prizes: Gift cards to B & N – Alternative prizes?
  8. 8. This Year’s Best (7th)
  9. 9. This Year’s Best (8th)
  10. 10. Book Fairs/Green Slips • Green Slips –1 per English teacher –Given to “randomly selected” students –Taken out of book fair profits/Scholastic Dollars –How else to use?
  11. 11. Book Swaps • When to do it • Students can bring up to 3 gently used books • Swap them for books other students have brought in • Donations • Volunteers needed! Source: content/uploads/2015/04/Book-Swap.png
  12. 12. How does your school get books into students’ hands …besides the library? Burning Question: Source of Background:
  13. 13. STAFF Teachers as reading role models across curricula
  14. 14. Staff Picks - Departments - Announce new display - Increases checkout of those books!
  15. 15. Read Posters - Taken by our yearbook company - Outside of every staff member’s door - How to do these on the cheap?
  16. 16. What I’m Reading Now Signs - Laminated - Each staff member fills in what they’re reading - Students pay attention!
  17. 17. Staff Reads! • Book club for teachers • Meets 5 times a year • Recertification points • Helps classroom libraries • “Reading Minute” at staff meetings to advertise book and share reading research
  18. 18. My activity period benefitted from my expanded library since I got to keep the books that were included in our Staff Reads! - 7th grade history teacher Because I was able to add the book to my classroom library, I could share an excerpt with my classes either at the beginning or end of class, and if a student was interested in the book, I could immediately let them borrow the copy. It showed my students that I enjoyed reading the same books they do, and it was a way to have a one-on-one connection with a student because we could then talk about the book while they were reading it and afterward. - 8th grade English teacher
  19. 19. Reading these books also helped me bond with my students by giving us something to talk about - besides math. It is gratifying to talk with a student about a book and hear their recommendations; to hear whether the book made them cry or to hear how much they enjoy certain genres or certain authors. - 7th grade math teacher It gave me more ways of positive communication with students. - Family & consumer science teacher
  20. 20. Mystery Readers • Last Friday of the month • English classes • Staff or parents • Share a book of MR’s choosing • Kept a secret until the person arrives! Source: cedar-ridge-and-eden-lake-library-media-centers/ volunteer
  21. 21. How does your school’s staff promote reading? What could you & your staff be doing? Burning Question: Source of Background:
  22. 22. COMMUNITY Making Reading a Lifetime Passion
  23. 23. Parent Teen Book Club • 3 times per year: fall, winter, spring • Students and their parents read the same book. • Both come to our evening PTBC to discuss the book with other parents and students. • Teachers facilitate the group discussions. • Students/Parents sign up via a Google form.
  24. 24. • 5-6 different titles per session to offer choice • Range of fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novel titles • Coincides with our book fairs – extra purchases! • Staff is encouraged to find a student buddy with whom to participate. Details…
  25. 25. Parent Testimonials “…I think the parent-teen aspect of this club is what makes it special. Observing her interactions with her peers and having her observe ours in such a setting is really interesting. The most rewarding part, though, is having something in common with our teen. Reading a book together provided something to discuss and ponder and critique and laugh and complain and make connections about...”
  26. 26. “…though War Horse is probably not a book I'd have actually chosen to read, doing so gave my son and I an opportunity to connect as well on a different level. Throughout this process and our discussions about the book and characters, I've seen my somewhat shy 7th grader evolve into an expressive and articulate human being with mature opinions and insights that he enjoys sharing. I fully credit the Book Club experience for encouraging that dialogue. What a tremendous program!” How does your school involve parents with reading?
  27. 27. Working with the Public Library • Youth/Teen Services Librarians • What do they do? – Book talk over 20 titles – Discuss volunteer opportunities – Promote programs & services available at the public library. • Before winter break & at the end of the year.
  28. 28. We love our public librarians!
  29. 29. How does your school include the community (parents, public library, etc) in reading? Burning Question: Source of Background:
  30. 30. Other Ideas What programs/other stuff do you do with your students, staff, and community?