Reading Challenge – Promoting a Reading Culture

I’ve had a couple of requests via Instagram and Twitter to explain my 2017 Reading Challenge. This reading challenge started as a way to increase reading on my campus and hopefully facilitate growing our reading culture.

Background on Reading Challenge

In December, Carol Richmond the awesome librarian at Wilson Elementary, sent out an email about Reading Challenge that she was sharing with her staff. I loved the IDEA and quickly decided to adapt it for my high school students and teachers!

The challenge is to read outside of your normal reading¬†zone. For my high schoolers, the challenge is to just get them reading! I also thought it would be good to challenge our teachers to read and share what they are reading on a regular basis. I’m planning on sending out a monthly email recapping what I read for the month and reminding my teachers of the different reading categories (and reminding them to submit reading responses via a Googleform on my library page.) My method is to pretty much hassle everyone to read all the time. ūüôā

Here is a list of the categories (updated from Mrs. Richmond’s form to include high school reading materials like the¬†TAYSHAS and Nerdy Book Club¬†winners.)


My first display is below, and I’m brainstorming ways I can update the Reading Challenge display by month… so if you have any ideas, let me know! I’m currently thinking of choosing a category ¬†(recommended by a student) and making the whole display about that category. Plus I’ll update the “Reading Challenge” signage.

For this first display, I’ve included lots of categories and labeled what category each book will fill on small laminated speech bubbles.

I was hoping to make our Google Form for submitting reads more accessible by creating this QR code bookmarks. For teachers, reminding via email seems to work the best.

Accompanying bookmarks for the #rhsreads #reading challenge ! Pick one up and keep track of what you read! #rhs #library

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Submitting Reads

For students, I’ve also got the link to submit books open on a Chromebook right next to our dropbox. (Which also happens to be a Makey Makey Minion)

Super silly #MakeyMakey #minions #bookdrop with playable paper #bananas .

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Promoting Reading and the Library

Favorite Books?
Another idea I’ve had for promoting a reading culture is to take¬†pics of teachers and students reading their favorite books and posting these¬†around our campus. Or maybe rotating “Currently reading” slides on our Google Slide announcements.
I think small quick displays seem to work the best for getting students to pick up new books. So I’m excited to copy this idea from The Daring Librarian for the “student recommendation” category for the next Reading Challenge Display.
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How do you promote a reading culture in your library?

Read these Blogs- Educator Innovator and School Leaders Now

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If you remember my post about writing and making after the National Writing Project, you’ll enjoy this article discussing ¬†“Why the School Library is the Perfect Place for Maker Education” on the Educator Innovator blog.

I’m still¬†thinking about the thought process by my collaborative group session where teachers discussed the idea of revision as debugging and writing drafts as iterations. This combined with the cyclical nature of both writing, making, and inquiry are a great way to teach educators new ideas about incorporating making into their classes.

I was also interviewed for School Leaders Now¬†blog about makerspaces for the free download “7 Ways Schools Will Change by 2020.” I stressed the importance of speaking with the community before making big purchases, and starting simple with the intent of expanding over time.


Head on over and check out both articles: