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First Chapter Friday! Middle Grade Books!

One of the most worthwhile reading ideas I have implemented this year is First Chapter Friday. Each Friday (or as many Fridays as I can when we don't have a different schedule or no school), I choose a book I want my students to read. Sometimes it is based on the theme/topic we are already covering. For example, during Term I we explored many books with characters that had a "learning difference" or some sort of challenge that they had to overcome. The first Friday I tried this was introducing Restart by Gordon Korman. My students were so interested in this book, I ended up getting 7 copies ($1 on scholastic deal!). The copies flew off the shelves! 

Other titles I tried were: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and other realistic fiction favorites. 

I was sure to display the book cover for students to see on the easel. Depending on what I asked them, their responses varied - these were written on sticky notes. For this particular book, I asked that to just write a reaction and/or say if they were interested. This helped me informally assess the want/need for more copies as well as student interest level. Since this was the first Friday of the first full week of school, it gave me some good feedback on my new students! 

I would definitely recommend teachers trying this! There are so many variations you can try! You can also follow the hashtag #firstchapterfriday on Instagram! 

Book ideas

Any book could work for this activity! All the time you need is just enough to read the first chapter (maybe 30 second book talk too if you've read the book before).