Monday, March 3, 2014

At School: Literacy Displays

As most of you know, in addition to being a reader, I'm also a high school English and Spanish teacher. I thought it might be fun to talk a bit about what my coworkers and I do at work to encourage reading and create a culture of literacy at our school. I thought I'd start with a post about one of the most fun things I personally am doing this year: a reading display on my classroom door.
Picture taken in January. Number is up to 51 now!

I borrowed/stole the idea from Jillian (thanks!), who tweeted about it a while ago, and have seen a few other people create these types of displays as well. It was easy to do it: I created a small sign that says "This school year, Ms. Farlie has read _____ novels! Have you read any of them?" I had it laminated and now I just update the number with a dry erase marker every time I finish a book. I print book covers four to a page and tape them up around the sign. I have to say, I really look forward to adding books to the door! I think it makes me read more :)

The display itself has inspired some great conversations with kids and I already know it's helping them discover more books. I notice students checking the display as they walk down the hall or as they come into class, noticing when I add another cover or if my number goes up a few after a long weekend or a snow day. Sometimes I overhear conversations about the door from students I don't even have, especially after school!

I love what this display has done to encourage talking about literacy and to introduce students to more books that they might not notice on the shelves. 50 Cent's Playground has been popular this year, partly due to students noticing the cover on the door as they walk in. I've also had quite a few questions about Marie Lu's Legend series and The One and Only Ivan. I love all of these books getting more exposure!

If you are thinking about creating a literacy display, I'd really recommend doing one like this where students can see it easily. I also have a "currently reading" sign in the narrow window next to my door, so my students are able to check both out as they walk by or in the door. Both are fun, simple, and informative and let me display my reading life for everyone to see :)

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