One of my goals for the 2017-2018 school year is to create a powerful reading community in my classroom. In thinking about how to change my classroom to reflect this goal, I thought I’d start from the moment my third graders walk through the door each day.
On the last day of school in June, we had a “Sneak Peek” day where my new students visited my classroom. There was one question I made sure to ask every child: what was your favorite book from second grade? This gave me great information about my students as readers. Coming into the new school year, I wanted to find a way to remind my students about the positive reading experiences they had in second grade.
On my classroom door, I made a tag for each student with their name and their favorite book from second grade. These door tags started conversation from the first day. “You read that book in second grade, too?!” “Yeah, I loved it! What did you think about the part where…”
I also wanted to give my students a glimpse into my life as a reader. On the bottom half of the door, I decided to show the covers of all the books I read this summer. With some help from my former students, I taped more than 80 book covers on the door:
The conversations around these books have been powerful, too. My students were drawn to the display, and have asked me about many of the pictured books. When I asked students to make “To Be Read” lists for the first few weeks of third grade, many of them walked over to the door to copy down some titles from my summer reading. I’ve even had former students stop by to chat about shared reads after looking at the door.
I hope my door sends a simple message to my students: You’re a reader, and I am, too. Let’s grow as readers this year!