Today I read the book How to Read a Story by Kate Messner. Since it is the beginning of the year, I like to review how to choose a book to read. This is a good time to also bring up the 10 Rights of a Reader I mentioned earlier.
You can discuss the different ways your students choose a book to read: cover, back description, familiar author or illustrator, etc. I really like step two which explains you should pick a buddy to read with. I often do this with my silent reading time. Part of the time is alone, but the other part is with a partner. I usually only allow picture books for partner reading since they are quicker and can be accomplished in one reading. Recommendations from peers should be one of the ways we learn about new books or authors.
This can also lead to a discussion of the authors, illustrators, and genres the students enjoy. I often do book shares at the end of a silent reading time. This allows for the students to hear about engaging books from their peers. The beginning of the year is an important time to create a culture of love for reading. For some students, finding a book is difficult so model why you choose the books you read with the class. Also share books you loved as a child and explain why you loved them so much. Students need to see that we are passionate about reading, too.
Journal topic: What do you like or dislike about reading? What genre of books do you like to read? Is there a certain author or illustrator you like? This is another way to get to know your students and discover your avid or reluctant readers.