Thursday, 23 January 2014

Pupil recommendations

Children who are encouraged to read by their friends are twice as likely to enjoy reading and three times more likely to say that they think reading is 'cool' than those who are not. Children recommending books to each other is a huge part of our classroom reading culture, and is done in lots of different ways.
  
Book of the week / Author of the week- A laminated A3 poster that can be wiped clean and updated by the children at the start of every week. Really simple and gives all the children an opportunity to share what they enjoy.
  
If you liked- When the children have finished a book that they particularly enjoyed, encourage them to fill in an 'If you liked reading...then try...' bookmark that can be passed on to another child. We also have an exercise book called 'If you liked reading...', where lots of children's authors are listed. The children then update the book by recommending similar authors (eg If you liked reading the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz, then try the Jimmy Coates books by Joe Craig or the Young James Bond books by Charlie Higson). It's great to see how often they refer to this before choosing their next book!
  
Star Reader- A display board showing the current class reading star (eg This week's Star Reader is Sean for finishing all the Cirque du Freak books!). This idea works most succesfully when the children choose who it should be and definitely helps make being a reader 'cool'. The class can also write their own 'Well done' comments on the display.

We also have a short 'book chat' every day where pupils can share books they have enjoyed (or not enjoyed), read an extract, talk about anything new coming out, read an online review of a new book they might be interesed in, etc- anything to encourage raising the profile of reading for pleasure. The aim is always to keep it very informal and never veers into Guided Reading territory.

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