Book Speed Dating

Every once in a while I focus the kids before independent reading time (IRT) by telling them that I want them to bring a favorite book to the carpet at the end of reading time. We do a quick whip around to share what book they've each brought. Many times this results in kids swapping books to read for next IRT. didn't feel like I was doing enough to promote the sharing of books being read.

First of all, we didn't have enough time to really share 19 books in the 3-5 minute whip around. Second of all, some of the kids stopped listening because this is not so different from a Round Rob,in is it? I thought I was being innovative, but instead I was just letting them dip their toe in.

This quarter I want to really develop how we share books, how we talk about books, and how we begin to create lists of books we want to read when we finish the ones we are reading now. One of the ways I want to do this is by reserving one day a week to do a Book Speed Dating session of sorts. Each child will bring a book to the carpet where chairs are set up in a circle. The brought books will have some kind of theme: funniest book, favorite book, best character in a story, connection to self, and the list goes on as long as your list of focus lessons for reading workshop. Once at the circle, students will open the book on their chair and read it for 2 minutes. They can start anywhere. They can peruse from the middle, but they must be reading it to know what it is about. After 2 minutes, they put the book down and move to the next seat/book.

I am hoping this will bring some new ideas into these budding reading lives.


  1. I have done this! My kiddos love it! If they fall in love with a book in two minutes, I've let them have some alone time with the book they land on! They join the game again if they finish the book before the rest of the class has fallen in love! I do it as musical chairs and they have to march around the circle until the music stops!

  2. You'll have to share how it goes and where you take it from there. I'd love to hear more!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  3. Interesting idea! Let us know how it works!

  4. Sounds intriguing. I am looking forward to the follow up post.

  5. I tried this today, and my kids LOVED it! They especially like that I was in the reading circle too, and afterwards we all took a turn "selling" one of the books we'd met that was new to us and one thing we liked or learned about it! Even my most reluctant readers were interested and engaged! Woo hoo!

    1. Yay! I am so glad it worked for you. I am having great success with it too. It's like a sneak attack to help them find books they love.