Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fiction Friday, or Not!

I have been looking for ways to encourage independent free reading with my two reading classes. I have also been mentoring a colleague, who has never taught reading before, struggling with the same issue. I decided to do a "Fiction Friday...or Not!" activity. I don't think this is a unique idea, as I was inspired by some of the blogs I follow that do "What I am reading" posts. It was also inspired by a "Good News" activity I do to help students make personal connections.

On random Fridays, my friends take turns telling about the book they are reading, but haven't finished. They talk briefly about why they chose the book or what they like about it. Some may have only read the first page, but are curious if others had read it. It takes less than ten minutes to get to everyone.  At fifth grade, most students choose to read a novel, but there are those that prefer non-fiction, thus the "Not" part of the activity. They get a kick out of being able to say they are a "not" when it is their turn.

Later, when their assignments are finished, I notice students stopping to peruse the covers of a friends' books, or to search for a book on our shelves. So simple, but rewarding! Later, their completed books can then be added to our recommendation tree which was also blog inspired. More on that in a future post.

What do you do to motivate independent reading? I would love to hear.


  1. Love this idea! Isn't it wonderful when you get to hear your students talking about their reading? I just love it! I just wrote a blog post about using book clubs and edmodo to promote reading outside the classroom. Come by and check it out if you get a chance. Lattes and Laughter

    1. Hi Marcia!First of all thank you so much for stopping by my blog and becoming my 50th follower. That made my day! :) Also your comment totally reminded me of a website you can use to save youtube videos as MP4 files so that you can share the videos with your students without going on youtube. The website is called I just wrote about it on my blog. Maybe it will come in handy for you...

  2. Hi,

    Really got this question hanging on my mind, What do you do to motivate independent reading? For me, these are my simple strategies: First, give him/her time to read. Second, let him/her choose the book to read (something that interests him/her) Third, let him focus and read well on his/her own. and Fourth, give some questions about what he/she has read. These ways, you can motivate your students/children to read independently.


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