A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

How to get your Students Hooked on Books from Day One

Day 1
     The butterflies are flying all around the room. Everyone, including you, is a little nervous and excited for the new school year. You are looking back at a whole variety of reading levels and interests. Some are super into unicorns or dinosaurs, where others just like Minecraft. How do you reach all those interests and help them love reading?
      By now, yes even in 2nd grade,  they have a strong opinion whether they like to read or not. Many, unfortunately, are not. Reading is not "cool." The ones who loving reading have already been labeled as a nerd. What they don't realize is being a nerd is totally in!

Step 1
     Have students make a list of books they have read. Then they can circle the ones they really loved with a crayon. If they can't remember the title, thats OKAY! Have them describe the book, even better. This can be a great get to know you activity for the first week of school. Give them groups and let them tell each other about their lists. A discussion of books and stories on the first day?!? #teacherwin!

Step 2
     As you are giving a classroom tour, jump into what the perfect reading spot looks like. Do they like bright or dim spots? Do they need background noise or a quiet spot to read? What about seating: laying down or sitting up, hard chair, or fluffy pillow? Discuss fun places around your room they can read. Of course you also need to discuss places they cannot read, like in front of doors or the teacher area. Jennifer Serravallo suggests you have students think about what distracts them while they are reading as they think about finding the perfect reading spot. [ The Reading Strategies Book, 2015]

Step 3
     Remember that list of books they loved? Let them get those brand new Crayolas out and make a poster "advertising" their favorite book. Hang them around the room or in your own classroom library. This will be a great incentive for them to do their best coloring too. You don't even have to have poster board, just use printer paper or construction paper! Make this easy on you and fun for them. I like to have the students write JUST enough information or details to catch someone's interest without giving away the story.

Step 4
{Just Right Books}: you knew it was coming...Most of the time, students don't like reading at a second grade level because it's HARD. They want to read the cool books their older brothers and sisters are reading, they try, but they can't. That's where the "I hate reading" mentality comes from. Help them find books that fit THEIR interest and THEIR reading level. Let's be real, second graders may need the Biscuit type books, but they generally aren't interested in Biscuit and his little adventure at school anymore.  As you get to know your kids, you can introduce the to DogMan graphic novels or maybe your student needs to meet Encyclopedia Brown!

Step 5
     You need to show your students that YOU are interested in reading yourself! Choose a fun read aloud that will get their attention from the start. Read to your students every. single. day. Angie Olson from {Lucky Little Learners} has an amazing list of {great read alouds} just for 2nd grade! In my classroom, I love to read Roald Dahl to my kids. The stories are generally funny and they are just a little too hard for second graders to read alone. I skip over any bad language and take time to explain the English words that Dahl uses so the kids aren't lost. When I think of a read aloud for elementary students, I think about books that are too hard for them to read themselves, but still interesting for their age. Head to your local library or your school library. Talk to the librarian about what you could read if you aren't sure where to start!

You may still have some reluctant readers, but keep trying! Don't give up on them. They just need to find THAT book they can't put down. These types of students typically get intimidated by all the words. Start with {graphic novels} and watch their love of reading take off!

<3 Aimee


  1. I love the idea of having them make a lost of books they've read and then circling the ones they loved. What a perfect first-week activity. Thanks for sharing.
    Laughter and Consistency

  2. Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more.

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