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7 Ideas for Relentless Book Matching


Cultivating Inclusive Learning Environments: Best Practices for Educational Leaders

Knowing the power of good “read” motivates educators and their continuous efforts to book match relentlessly. Teachers everywhere know that the only way to increase the reading volume among students is to hook students into reading on a regular and routine basis. It has to become an unbreakable habit, almost ingrained into your daily existence. Harper Lee said this best, Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 


Schools and classrooms are busy places. There’s so much going on that sometimes it can be hard to fit in some simple things that encourage students to develop the habit of reading. Let’s dive right into some fun and easy ways to be a book matchmaker. 


1 - Familiarize yourself with popular books in the age range of students you work with. Make an effort to read children’s and young adult books regularly to stay familiar. Know the books in your personal classroom collection. Familiarize yourself with popular authors. 


2 - Find out about the kids in your care. What do they like to do? What are their interests? What are their reading habits? Which books might help them navigate their world? Readers love getting personalized book recommendations from others. Imagine leaving a book and a short note on a student’s dest expressing how you read this book and thought of them. That sends a message of I see you as a reader and I recognize what you might be interested in. 


3 Consider starting a book club. Reading is a social activity and bringing readers together is important. Book clubs do not need to be big to-dos keep it simple. Pick a book and invite people to join in a conversation. Encourage everyone to ask questions and share their thoughts about the book. Book clubs are great ways to hear other readers' perspectives, connect, and experience books you might not otherwise have read. Don’t forget the snacks - a little food always makes it more enjoyable.


- Share your reading life with your students. Talk about what you are reading and how you decided to read it. Share where you find your books, and when you read. Expose things like finding quick moments here and there to read, and keeping a book with you for a book emergency. I wrote about the power of a reading stack in a previous blog, check it out here.


5 - Expose your students to lots of options. Try watching book trailers to expose students to a wide variety of possible reads. An example of a book trailer for the popular book Refugee by Alan Gratz can be found here. Book trailers only take a minute or two so they are quick and easy. They make great class openers, quick brain breaks, or end-of-class activities. Book trailers can also be played on a loop on TVs in hallways or lunchrooms. 


6 - Another fun way to expose students to lots of different titles and pique their interest is really very simple. Pick diverse high-interest books that you want to encourage your students to read. Then give them a quick commercial, by sharing a few tidbits about the book like title, author, and main characters. Then read the first page of the book to them. This gives readers a quick exposure to a title and often sparks interest with multiple students. 


- Host a book tasting. Set up tables with a book at each setting. Students rotate from place to place looking at the titles. Encourage students to think about their interest in the topic of the book, read the front and back cover, take a look at the table of contents, and maybe read the first page or two.  They can snap a picture or write a title on a to-read list. It again allows them to be exposed to lots of options and start creating a reading plan.


I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you relentlessly match books with readers? 




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