From the moment students enter the classroom, they should feel excited to dig into books and reading instruction. There are ways we make our classroom visually inviting to new readers, as well as back to school reading activities we can have prepared.
Beyond giving reading assessments, it is important for students to self-reflect and express who they are as readers. It is also a great time for students to set goals as to what they hope to accomplish this year as a reader.
Below are five tips to get students in your classroom ready for reading from the very first day!
1. BACK TO SCHOOL READING BULLETIN BOARDS:
Setting up a reading word wall is a helpful support that students can use during reading right away. It is important to reference your word walls often to really make them meaningful for students. I like to start the year with a reading strategy word wall as I am constantly referencing these strategies while we are reading.
A genre word wall is also super helpful for a classroom library area. I personally like to sort my books by genre to mirror more of what they will come across in bookstores or online. These half page genre word wall cards have a visual and student-friendly definition for each genre. This makes them so helpful for exposing students to the many literary genres all year round.
2. CLASSROOM LIBRARY ORGANIZATION:
A classroom library is much more accessible for students when it uses some kind of organizational system. As mentioned above, I like to mostly sort by genre. However, you can also sort by topics/subjects, authors, series, etc. Book bins and book bin labels are so helpful for this.
A classroom library organized with labels makes it much easier for students to choose a book. It also helps to hold them accountable for returning their books correctly when they are done.
3. BACK TO SCHOOL READING ACTIVITIES: READING SURVEY
This survey is a quick and easy way to get a very important overview of your students’ interests, what they like to read about, and favorite genres. It also gives space for students to write about what they perceive to be their strengths and weaknesses in reading. You can receive this survey FREE here.
Two slightly varied versions are included in both a printable PDF (B&W or Color) or Google Slides format.
4. BACKPACK BOOK – “WHAT I BRING AS A READER”:
This backpack book is awesome for having students describe themselves personally as well as in each of the core subject areas. The “What I Bring as a Reader” page is similar to the survey above, but also has students set reading goals for themselves.
This backpack book works well in a classroom with a single teacher, or distributed to teachers that are departmentalized. You can use some or all of the pages with students.
5. BACK TO SCHOOL READ ALOUDS:
Students will feed off of your love of reading from the very first read alouds. It is so helpful to have stack of engaging books ready to go for tackling jitters, encouraging kindness and acceptance, and celebrating our differences.
You can just simply have your students enjoy listening to you read when you find yourself with a bit of down time. Or, you can plan a whole lesson around read alouds, choosing to do follow up activities digging deeper into the themes of these books.
Looking for more Back to School Ideas? Check out the Blog Posts below!
- Creating a Welcoming Environment for Newcomer ELLs
- Digital & Paper All About Me Book
- Back to School Activities