The reading corner. A staple of the modern-day classroom and something which schools and their teachers should always be proud of. What happens though, when the children aren’t as engaged with it as you’d planned?
We don’t wish that on anyone of course, but we are here with a basic checklist to ensure you’ve not missed anything when creating your reading corner (aside from the million other jobs on your list…)
By using and developing an interest in books, children can develop in language and cognition, motor skills, their senses and their imagination, amongst many other key areas. This is by no means an exhaustive list (or the perfect one!) but here are some things to think about when setting up a new reading corner:
- Keep mixing up the books you have, stimulate each child’s interest in their favourite topic
- Ask your class what they’d like to see in the reading corner, while it may be wacky at times… the feedback could help to make it more accessible
- Set your reading corner up as far from distraction as you can, try to have some taller ‘walls’ or curtains around it
- Make sure it’s a permanent fixture in the classroom and children know where to go to read
- Always have a wide selection of non-fiction and fiction topics for each individual to get stuck into
- Create a “Book of the Week” display, highlighting something key and relevant to current learning
- Provide an interesting mix of reading materials, not just books e.g. newspaper / magazines / flyers etc.
- Ensure the furniture is perfect for a relaxing sit and read session, include mats, cushions, bean bags and chairs as some children will prefer different reading positions
- A range of lighting, reading lights or dimmable lights can be useful
- Don’t forget to include a listening device and headphones for those children who like audio books or relaxing music
- Make everything easily accessible and within arm’s for the children so they can wander in alone and dig in!
- The reading corner doesn’t have to be for just reading. Try and bring in some writing options by adding whiteboards and markers, magnetic letters, alphabet and word games
- Add some posters that will help children with their reading and include dictionaries and thesauruses too
- Add some stuffed animals and comforting items to the corner to give it more appeal
It has long been argued that reading corners can be either “too vibrant” or “too clinical”, but whichever group you find yourself in – one thing is for certain… the fundamentals of a quality reading corner always stay the same! If the mix of material is excellent, the children will flock to find out everything there is to know about their favourite topics.
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