More than a token gesture…

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

With World Book Day (3rd March 2016) almost upon us, there are undoubtedly parents up and down the country conjuring up a literary costume for their children to be proud of… and teachers gearing up for a day of frenzied excitement in the classroom… but what happens after all the fun of the ‘big day’?

Well, a few teachers I’ve met on my travels recently had some excellent ideas. One of these was the innovative use of the book tokens whereby the children chose their own book, but ‘share’ this with the school so that other children can also benefit from their selection. With complete buy-in from the parents, this enables the school to give the pupil an even greater choice of books and authors (which we all know helps to promote reading for pleasure).

In fact, for some teachers the trip to the book shop alone helps to create learning opportunities and supports parental engagement. By holding the ‘school trip’ a few weeks after World Book Day, one teacher has found that the children’s anticipation about visiting the book shop can be used to stimulate excitement in the meantime as well as encourage discussion around the different books available.

Another teacher makes the benefits of World Book Day last the whole year by combining it with www.TaketheQuiz.co.uk. This free resource includes Accelerated Reader-style quizzes on popular and award winning books – including those offered as part of World Book Day.

Screenshot of TaketheQuiz.co.uk

www.TaketheQuiz.co.uk offers quizzes, videos and downloadable resources

And thinking back to my time in the primary classroom; World Book Day was an excellent springboard for renewing enthusiasm in the more engaged readers as well as engendering a love for reading in the more reluctant ones. The ‘dressing up’ part of the celebrations instantly injected a fun element into reading activities so we decided to incorporate this into a reward event using our own ‘read a book – dress up’ theme. Obviously not as high profile or extensive as what we did for World Book Day, but the simple approach of a fancy dress chest as part of the reading corner proved very effective – especially when used in conjunction with the free activities and resources from www.TaketheQuiz.co.uk.

As a passionate reader myself, I’m very proud to be part of an organisation that supports World Book Day and feel very fortunate that I’ll be able to join in the celebrations by visiting some some of our Accelerated Reader primary schools on the ‘big day’! Follow me @MargaretCAllen to see what little reading gems I find!

Margaret Allen
Strategic Education Manager

Margaret Allen is Strategic Education Manager for Primary schools at Renaissance Learning. She uses practical experience from her time teaching in primary classrooms to help teachers across the UK to get the most out of Accelerated Reader.

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