Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reading Makes "Ewe" Smart

We are working REALLY hard at school to encourage students to be "joyful readers".  We use the AR program and while it motivates some students, well, not so much for others.  I have always loved to read.  I was the kid who never got in trouble except for staying up way past my bedtime reading with a flashlight under the covers so I'll admit that it can be hard for me to understand why kids wouldn't like reading!  I try to talk to students about books I've read, ask them what they are reading, and model being a  joyful reader during the 45 minutes weekly that one of my 5th grade classes comes to my room to AR read.  I don't think I probably need to convince any Art teachers that it's important for kids to read- it should be important to everyone!  But, if someone happens to be reading this that needs some convincing consider the following:
The 2 most common reasons that kids drop out of school are
Not feeling connected to their school and

The photo above is of my current bulletin board.  It was up in time for Family Reading Night (happy accident with the timing) and has gotten a good response.  I saw a poster with the saying last spring and took a picture with my iPhone (love that thing) so I would be sure to remember it.  I saw a cool sheep painting on Pinterest that had lots of spirals and since I'm a sucker for them, I decided to use that idea.  I usually take more time to make my lettering but I was in a hurry so I just painted the words on some paper.  I'm getting ready for my next display so the sheep is probably going to go live outside the library with a sign that says something like "flock to the library for a good book." I think it's time to paint a new bulletin board background...

I'm re-reading the series!

I also made a little sign to hang on the wall where the students line up at the end of class that displays what book I'm reading, what page I'm on, and how many pages I've read at school this year, at least when I remember to update it.  I just printed the words on copy paper then drew the book shape and laminated.  I wish I had read that you can erase sharpie from laminated things with an eraser earlier.  It really does work!  It works SOOO much better than using a dry erase marker.  

On my next sign I'll probably still print the words but I want to paint the paper to make it a little more interesting before laminating.  Even though my sign is a little sloppy with dry erase smudges, the kids don't care!  They look at the sign when they are in line and ask me about the books.

Do you do anything to encourage students to read?  Not just your school's program but you?


  1. Firstly, I totally pirated your 'I'm reading...' sign for my rooms! Secondly I tried the sharpie and regular eraser method and it didn't really work for me. However, I have known for a few years that you can draw over sharpie mark with a dry erase marker, then immediately erase the with a rag and it comes right off.

  2. Thanks for the tip! The erasing sharpie thing works better on a table than on the wall.