Sunday, August 24, 2008

Modeling Reading for Our Students

One of the four things we are emphasizing on our campus this year is reading. One of the many ways we, as adults, will emphasize reading this year is by modeling reading throughout the year. We have placed a large bulletin board with the title "What We're Reading" in a hallway with maximum exposure to our student population. On that board, managed by our National Honor Society, every teacher and administrator name is listed along with what each is reading. As the titles change periodically (we update titles on the 1st and 15th of each month), the color of the paper used changes, too.

This has achieved a number of things for us. First, it has shown our students that the adults on campus are reading, some voraciously. Second, it has celebrated our readers. Third, it has given our students an insight into who our teachers are outside the classroom; this is helpful when building relationships with our students. Fourth, it has given our students a chance to see some titles they might be interested in reading.

Students haven't been the only ones affected by this small addition to our hallways. A number of teachers have mentioned that they might not have picked up a book this year if it weren't for the bulletin board. Also, a few teachers accidentally got left off the board initially and they went to the NHS rather upset because they wanted their names and titles included, too. There have been numerous conversations already this year between teachers about the things they are reading, a dialogue that may not have been present in years past.

There is a quantifiable feeling of excitement and enthusiasm when it comes to reading and it seems to be contagious. At the request of some students, we have started a similar board for students with their names, photos and titles they are reading (titles that are not included on required reading lists for classes).


Jim Brown said...

That's a great idea Nathan. Maybe we could do this at SBS.

Phil said...

Agreed, Jim--and wonderful idea Nathan. I think students would find it interesting, as would teachers. It would be interesting to have it for open house as well. In today's age of technology, we could also have it up on the school website.

Johannah Kersey said...

I'm a little late in reading this blog, but this idea is brilliant and should spark a tremendous interest in reading. Sometimes educators are a bit timid in "marketing" to students, but this approach is the only way to compete with every other marketer out there. Plus, it expands reading beyond the English class to every discipline. Please keep us updated on how this initiative is working in your school.