Developing a love of reading is important. I want students to develop this love, or at least grow an appreciation and respect for reading. Once per quarter, I take my students to the library to have a Book Tasting. I ask our Accelerated Reader Coordinator, Sandy Fetters, to introduce my students to a selection of books and to instruct them on how to do the tasting. I ask Mrs. Fetters to help with this lesson because I want the students to see the library as a happy place where they can find help finding a text they will enjoy. This introduction to the books video demonstrates Mrs. Fetters talking about the library's popular books with the students. She explains book tasting instructions in this video. While she is talking, students are quietly listening.
During the book tasting students pick up a book, read the first couple pages and a page in the middle. Once finished, they put that book back on the cart and choose another. I instruct them to taste as many different books as possible before deciding on what they want to read. I've found that this helps students branch out to informational texts, which is vital to Common Core. Many students aren't non-fiction or informational text readers so the tasting gives them some exposure to that genre. In this video, student book tasting reflection, students reflect on what they like about the book tasting.
The librarian and I collaborate on which books to choose. I use her Young Adult expertise and I look through the recent book award winners to choose high interest texts. We make sure to include multiple genres.
During the last ten minutes of class, students are invited to the Hot Seat. If they volunteer, I typically give them 2 points of extra credit. While two points don't seem like a lot, they quickly understand that if they participate in this 5 times, they have earned 10 points. This is the only time students have an opportunity to earn extra credit so it is a golden opportunity. Once in the Hot Seat, the student explains to the class what book they are reading and they read a section of the book (at least one page) aloud. This serves two purposes. First, it is a great way to build a culture of readers. Students hear book recommendations from their peers rather than from a teacher. Second, it gives students an opportunity to practice reading aloud. I believe reading aloud helps students become more fluent readers.
Once we are finished, I'll make sure everyone has a book checked out from the library.