Why do you love books so much?
Well that’s a loaded question and a half. It’s a question my children (despite the fact I’ve taught them for 2 years now) have asked me. It’s a question my colleagues have asked me. I don’t have ONE answer for them. I don’t have one blanket answer. I probably give a different answer every single time I answer that question and that’s OK. The reason I love reading and books is deeper than just one reason.
Reading and in particular encouraging children to read for pleasure is a BIG part of my motivation and identity as a teacher. I know a lot of teachers in my twitter bubble would also say this, but I also know there are teachers who wouldn’t say this. I definitely identify as a reading teacher. A teacher who reads. My Year 5 classroom had a dedicated reading area because I think it’s important that children see that I am a reader just as much as they are. However, when I moved into my Year 6 classroom, there wasn’t a reading area as such (because for all it’s a wonderfully big classroom and I’m VERY blessed to have it there isn’t really space for book shelves), so I made one. And I very much loved it.
Every week, there’s a new ‘Miss Elliott’s Recommended Read’ and one of my boys in particular is always the first one to take this book then return it! Yes, there are a multitude of different coloured stars to match whatever colour the covers of the books are… don’t judge me! I like things to look aesthetically pleasing haha. So far, my recommended reads have been:
- Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick
- Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray
- There May Be A Castle by Piers Torday
- The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll
- Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
I love leaving a book out on the recommended read spot because it gives children a starting point if they’re a bit intimidated by the selection!
Also in my reading corner are these two books. The brown one says ‘Miss Elliott’s Recommended Reads’ on the outside and the ‘Reading Journal’ is for them. Inside my recommended reading book is just that: my reviews of some of the books I’ve read lately. It was something I saw on twitter and then I decided to magpie. It’s great for the kids who are undecided, but trust my reading tastes! The ‘Reading Journal’ is their chance to shine and do just that: recommend books to their friends. The Reading Journal has just recently taken off as it took one or two children writing in it before they weren’t afraid to! I think it’s so important to get children talking about the books they recommend. (Letters from the Lighthouse was our whole class read last half term and I was super lucky to have 15 copies! The kids ADORED it!)
I also have these baskets which are jam packed FULL of high quality and wonderful stories. Any of the books I get sent normally end up in my classroom first and then they go into the school library for the rest of school to enjoy them – that’s adults and children alike! There’s a lot of books in these baskets that will stay in Year 6 because I either bought them or I know my kids will love them! A lot of these books have been read by multiple children and some of them are falling apart already! But that’s the sign of a well-loved book in my classroom! Some of the firm faves from these baskets include:
- Wildspark by Vashti Hardy
- Patina/Sunny/Ghost (not pictured because someone’s reading it) by Jason Reynolds
- Pages and Co by Anna James
- The Storm Keeper’s Island/The Lost Tide WQarriors by Catherine Doyle
- High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson
- Who Let The Gods Out series by Maz Evans
I decided to subscribe to First News this year just to give a bit of variety in my reading area and I have to say, my Year 6s are very taken by the newspaper! My Year 5s also loved them, but my Y6s are very partial to a bit of newspaper reading in our reading time! There’s never many left on the table when we are reading. There’s also this little box of postcards/bookmarks for my kids – if publishers ever send me postcards or bookmarks, they go in here for my kids to have a look at/use! We’re keen users of bookmarks and postcards as bookmarks!
And that’s it! A whistlestop tour of my reading area as it is at the minute. I’m a massive lover of books (if you hadn’t guessed) and getting my children access to new, high-quality books is so important to me. I love that being a blogger helps me to do this, but I’d do it even if I weren’t a blogger… I daren’t tell you all how much money I spend monthly on books!
Have you got a reading area in your classroom?
Is there anything else you’d like to see from my classroom?
Speak to you all soon!