Monday, May 24, 2010

About Reader's Workshop: Fostering Enthusiasm

There's nothing quite like enthusiasm in the classroom. I like the way it bubbles up and completely dominates a room. You can't help but be swept away from it, and you know you're going to learn something on your journey.

Yesterday, I went out to help with a school fundraiser, primarily because a lot of my students helped to organise it. As I got there, one of my students ran up to me, and before either of us even said hello, she blurted out "The book is soooo good!"

Her enthusiasm was catching. I felt my spirits rising a bit as I asked her which book she was talking about, and she told me which bit she was up to. We went to our respective jobs, but she kept returning to it the whole time I was there. Her enthusiasm for reading, and for this book, was definately dominating her day.

How do you foster this enthusiasm when you're getting kids to read? Well from my own experience, there's a few things you can do . . .
  • Be enthusiastic yourself. If the kids' enthusiasm is infectious, what about the teacher's? If you come in and are excited about the book you're reading, they'll cotton on to that and realise that there are books out there worth being excited about
  • Have a range of books available. I had a student last year who was mad about Star Wars books. It was so easy to move him on to harder science fiction books from there. But if I'd had no science fiction, if I couldn't lay my hands on it immediately, the enthusiasm may have died down a little. As I always say, the classroom library is the most important part of the class.
  • Harness the student's enthusiasm. If they're excited about a book, they'll do more to sell it than you can. Let them! Let them talk about the books, create book buddies who share referrals, have occasional activities where they get to express which books they love, create favourite book lists.
What do you do to foster enthusiasm for reading?

Photo from flickr


A Reader's Community

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Queensland, Australia
A Reader's Community is a place to find ideas, information, resources and recommendations about Reader's Workshop.

This Blog has five main types of posts.

About Reader's Workshop - information about Reader's Workshop in my classroom and how it works

Reader's Workshop Tools - resources you can access and use to help you with reader's workshop

Book talks - Book recommendations of two or three books centred around a particular theme

Book letters - in-depth reviews of one particular book

Reader's Workshop Links - Short links lists to help you find more information
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