What is it?
Reading areas have been around for decades but not always have they had an impact on the teaching and learning of reading and writing. A reading area’s aim is to encourage children to engage with texts in order to become an effective independent reader. Does a reading corner really attract children to read? Should it be a reading area? Should we even designate an area for reading, is not the whole world a reading area? Whatever your opinion, here are a few ideas on how you can re-invent the reading corner!
How can I make my reading area great?
1) A relevant, high interest theme is always good to get children wanting to sit in there with a book.
2) Varied and modern texts that will attract children to open a book.
3) Extreme reading – Once they have completed a book, take a picture of them reading somewhere strange and display it as a reward!
4) Key question prompts to encourage discussions and high level thinking.
5) Allow children to choose where and how they sit – every book lover has their favourite spot!
6) A book review system – When a child finishes a book, let them write something great or not so great about it and pin it up for other children to see – they may choose that book next!
7) Children create a question or two about the book for the next reader.
8) Make it a secret space where children can drift away into another world!
9) Have a book corner competition in school. Each class has to design and build the best reading corner.
10) Rotate your books with other classrooms. Have special half terms for graphic novels or adventure stories etc. Link it with your overall topic theme. Keep the corner fresh and ever evolving.
What is the impact?
By adding these ideas you can (in our opinion) have a true impact on how much someone reads. If children want to visit an area because it looks fun, they will be motivated to pick up books and engage with them on some level. Modelling behaviour is just as important. You need to show children how to use the area and use it yourself. Why not conduct your guided reads in the area or even have your end of day story time in there. Children will copy your behaviour! By doing this children will be motivated to read more. With the right prompts, Pupils will begin to question themselves over the book they read. Self awareness will allow them to gain a greater understanding of personal reading skills that they need to develop. Through steeling ideas, Spelling and writing can also be improved.
If your reading areas, corners, zones or spaces have had a positive impact on learning please share via our Facebook or Twitter pages!
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