New Year, New Chapters: Reading resolutions for teachers and students to cultivate a love for reading in the classroom
By Denisha Polin
As the new year unfolds, it’s the perfect time to sow the seeds of a love for reading that will continue throughout the academic process. For both teachers and students, adopting and encouraging positive reading habits can be an enriching experience. Let’s explore some effective strategies to make reading a pleasurable part of the classroom in 2024.
Create a reading-friendly environment
One of the most effective ways to promote literacy in your classroom is by creating a reading space that’s welcoming. If your students have a comfortable place to read with a collection of well-organised, high-interest books to choose from, they’ll become more engaged in the contents of the book they’re reading.
If your school doesn’t have a library, book baskets and bookshelves are great for effectively organising your books. As your collection grows, you might also consider labelling these books so that they are easy for both you and your students to access. The ATOS readability formula is a great tool to use for guidance when organising books and ensuring students are reading at the appropriate level. You can find out what level a book is by simply doing a quick search on AR Bookfinder.
Offer diverse reading choices
Every reader is unique, and recognising and celebrating these differences is crucial. Curate a diverse selection of books that encompass various genres, authors and cultures. By offering a wide range of reading materials, you empower students to explore their interests and discover the joy of reading on their terms. Our Content team publish a monthly booklist, which often highlights socially marginalised groups. This would be a great starting point to diversify your library.
You can also lookup the award lists we quiz, such as the Diverse Book Awards, Jhalak Prize and Adrien Prize, by doing an advanced search on ARBookfinder (Advanced Search> Additional Criteria>All Topics>Award Winners/nominees>select your choice of Award from the dropdown>search)
As you get to know your students better during the school year and can gauge what topics they’re into, be sure to add books that will not only speak to their interests but will also challenge them to think critically.
Finally, with one of the most influential platforms right now being TikTok, take time to tap into the BookTok community and find out what current and forthcoming titles are popular amongst young people. Our 2023 What Kids Are Reading report saw the introduction of authors such as Collen Hoover and Alice Oseman, who dominated the list of secondary students’ favourite books, both having over 17 billion combined views on TikTok’s BookTok community.
3 Bootok accounts for YA recommendations you should follow:
@Emilymiahreads – all things YA, from fantasy, dystopia, to romance novels
@claire_linney – middle grade, YA books from black and brown, queer and neurodiverse authors
@the_caffeinatedreader – has a TikTok playlist called ‘Osemanverse’ championing Alice Oseman books
Set reading challenges and celebrate progress
Establish attainable goals, whether it’s reading a certain number of books, exploring different genres or themed reading months. Celebrate the milestones with small rewards like certificates or special reading-related activities. Recognising their achievements will motivate students to continue their reading journey.
If you follow our Accelerated Reader (@AccReader) account on Twitter, you’ll see us often resharing posts from teachers about their methods for celebrating success and competitions to create a buzz around reading with AR. These are a great way to help inspire ideas for celebrating progress. For more ideas, check out our blog series with secondary school Librarian, Sharan Kaur, or read how primary SLT Catherine Magee implements and encourages the teaching of literary classics with themed classroom displays using myON!
Foster a reading community
Cultivate a sense of community around reading. This can be done through book clubs, reading circles or group activities in-lesson. When students have an authentic reading purpose of communicating information and viewpoints about a text with others, they are often motivated to read more closely and think harder about the text’s meaning (Rozendaal et al., 2005).
For teachers, getting involved in online platforms or group forums where other teaching staff are generating discussions around reading engagement or book selections to support a particular subject, topic or theme is always a good place to inspire ideas. We launched our customer advocacy platform Renaissance Space, last year which is useful for teachers who are using Renaissance solutions to discuss ideas, ask questions and share practices, as well as get feedback from our Curriculum Experts.
There are also Facebook groups such as the Accelerated Reader UK & Ireland Group, and if you haven’t already, consider joining #EduTwitter (now X) and join the discussions – but start by following some literacy teachers who often share tips and resources. Here are some we recommend:
- Ashley Booth @MrBoothY6 | Reading Lead – Ashley champions reading both in and outside of the classroom.
- Emily Weston @primaryteachew| Teacher – Emily is a bookworm and runs her own popular book blog. She also highlights exciting and useful resources to share with your class.
- Jasmine @MissKay_MissKay| Teacher/Assistant Headteacher – Jasmine’s Twitter is a wonderful celebration of diversity! She often shares fun giveaways, resources and more.
Integrate technology and interactive platforms
Incorporating technology can appeal to diverse learning styles and make the reading experience more dynamic and interactive. With Accelerated Reader, a student reads a book, takes an online quiz and gets immediate feedback. Students respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.
Furthermore, myON encompasses a range of books and articles with interactive tools such as a highlighter, shape and drawing functions to help boost students’ literacy and keep them engaged whilst also supporting whole-class teaching and reading. By making reading a joyful and integral part of the learning process, we empower children and young people to become lifelong learners and avid readers. Here’s to a year of literary adventures and the magic that unfolds when we open the pages of a good book!
Share your reading resolutions with us on Twitter @AccReader
Discover how our Complete Literacy Solution can support your literacy lessons and make reading a more pleasurable experience for children and young people.