I noticed that most students like to read books about characters who are like them: about boys if they are a boy and about girls if they are a girl. So each books gets either a purple sticker for a female protagonist or a green sticker for a male protagonist. You will notice that the green sticker in the photo above also has "AA." Like I said, most students like to read books about characters who are like them so the AA is for African American, HIS for Hispanic, and so on. If a book has narrators of both genders, I put both a green and purple sticker on it.
A= action, adventure, sports
F = fantasy, science fiction
T =teens, realistic fiction
P = poetry
D = drama, plays
After you put the stickers on the spine of the book, cover them with a piece of packing tape. I buy the kind on the roller that is maybe two inches wide. You don't need large strips of tape, just enough so that it covers the stickers and wraps around to the front and back cover of the book a bit.
I am hoping this system will make it easier for my students to choose books they like to read so they will do more reading this year.
If you are looking for cheap/free books to add to your classroom library, check out your local public library. Often people donate books to them, which they sell for twenty five cents to one dollar or you might be able to make a deal to get them for free because you are a teacher. Never hurts to ask. Another great resource is First Book if you work in a school district that qualifies.
For more ideas on encouraging reading in your classroom:
Follow The Literary Maven's board *Reading for Teaching on Pinterest.
Happy reading :)