Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reflection: My Reading Door

Today was the last day of school with students, so I took down my reading door. It was a nice walk down memory lane, briefly reliving each book as I looked at the cover. My goal with the door was to have book conversations with students, to get them excited about books and sharing what they read. It turned out to be a wonderful experience!
My reading door in August

My office is at the end of the 5th grade hallway, so not many classes passed by it each day. It still elicited many comments and conversations with students and staff alike. There were lots of excited whispers when students walked by and saw I put up World War Z on my Want to Read list. 

The entire fifth grade read Esperanza Rising. When I got my own copy I added it to my Currently Reading list and they just had to tell me about their favorite parts. My school participates in Battle of the Books and I decided I wanted to read those books to see what all the fuss was about. When one of the boys saw all 6 books on my Want to Read list he brought his personal copies of three of the titles so I could read them. I work with a group of nine students to broadcast our morning announcements. Several of those students are avid readers and recommended new series with such passion that I had to add them to my To Read list.

At the end of the school year

I had many wonderful conversations with staff members as well. The teacher across the hall from my office seemed to have similar tastes in books so we chatted often about a series we both enjoyed. I talked her in to finishing a series she had started, she lent me copies of another she thought I'd enjoy. We both talked about our love for certain books and how we couldn't put them down. I had some staff members email book recommendations to me. And of course the school librarian acted as my dealer, constantly feeding and encouraging my reading addiction.

Being public with my reading was a great motivator for me as well. I was excited to add new books to the lists on my door. If I took too long with a book or couldn't find the time, I would get worried that the students would think I wasn't reading anymore. I would make more time to read so I could finish the books!

Was my reading door successful? I would say yes! I was able to finish over 40 books, not counting all the picture books that I read. This was more reading than I've done in a very long time. The only thing I would change would be to move my office to a more central location so more students from different grade levels could be involved with the conversations.

The best thing about this whole experience? My Want to Read list now has over 120 books on it, more than half from recommendations from students, teachers, and my PLN! That should keep me busy this summer!


  1. I love this idea for stimulating "book talk" throughout your school! Thank you for sharing.

  2. I can't take credit for the idea, but it sure was effective! Unfortunately I'm transitioning to a new job next school year and I won't have an office door to call my own. I'm still trying to think of new ways I can share my book love with students.