congrats! you’re going to LOVE your work, for sure. :)
i don’t have a classroom anymore. since i’m a reading specialist/coach, i work with teachers rather than small groups of students. (i love my job.) my passion for literacy began when i was little. my parents used to take me to the library all. the. time. i just fell in love with the written word and its ability to transport me to different places.
to encourage reading inside and outside of the classroom, i’d suggest:
- create a diverse and well-stocked classroom library, spanning all genres (including comics and magazines); you don’t have to spend a tone of money…scholastic reading club is great for building class libraries cheaply, as are trips to local book sales and garage sales.
- make your children read every night for their reading homework. i don’t know the grade you’ll be teaching, but i’d say 5 minutes for K-1, 10 minutes for 2nd grade, 15 minutes for 3rd, and 20 minutes for 4th-8th grades. find a reading log online or create your own requiring a parent/guardian to sign off on the reading homework. let them read whatever they choose for homework. also, read alouds by parents/guardians count toward the time, too. allow kids to pick books from your class library to take home. (you’ll need a checkout system that works for you.)
- require students to keep a (separate) log of books read in a notebook or on a blog page. it’ll be great for students to recognize patterns in their reading choices and feel that they are accomplishing something.
- book talks or book trailers are awesome (i’m a huge fan of the latter). once a week, show students a trailer or book talk (lots are online). bonus points if the book is already in your library. display the book in a prominent spot and let kids check it out.
- READ A LOT yourself! read books that are age appropriate for your students. talk about what you’re reading. tell them how much you loved book X and then display it for students to check out.
- give them opportunities to talk about the books they’re reading at home. maybe you make it part of a Fun Friday or have kids draw a picture/poster/movie trailer of a book they love once a month.
- allow them to abandon books, if they choose. (this applies more for 2-8th graders) just monitor their book logs to make sure that they are not making it an avoidance technique. guide them toward books they may enjoy, if needed.
hope that helps! good luck and give me an update next year as to how it all works out. :)