Reading management in the classroom

How do you manage reading in your classes? There are several approaches to reading and using stories in the classroom, and we should not forget about reading non-fiction books, magazines and graphic stories either.

Here are some ideas to get you started, plus a short glossary of and terms, and don’t forget to download all our reading management documents.


In order to carry out an activity successfully, we need the time and space to do it. This is also true for reading in a foreign language. It is not usually enough to simply hand out a list of books to our students. This may work  with really keen and experienced readers, but most of our students will need some help and encouragement.

  • Have a reading spot in the classroom. You can have all or just one of these:
    • reading corner
    • reading pillows, bean bags
    • classroom layout for reading, move the desks and the chairs into a comfortable position
  • Organise your books:
    • on shelves
    • in bookcases
    • in reading boxes
    • in reading bags.
  • You will need time:
    • read regularly.
    • dedicate at least 10 minutes to reading.
    • have regular longer reading sessions, for example a reading lesson each month.


Check out from the library, collect, or ask your students to bring in:

  • graded readers
  • classics
  • young adult novels
  • graphic novels
  • comic books
  • magazines
  • non-fiction books
  • art and science albums

Check out the online Helbling Readers Catalogue.


Download our Reading Words sheet to become familiar with some useful terminology.

Choose some of these strategies, and practise them regularly. Try different strategies every month. Some of these might work better with different students, depending on their reading habits, experience and level.

For terms 1-3, please check our Reading Words sheet.

  1. Independent reading.
  2. Guided reading.
  3. Paired reading.
  4. Shared/Group reading. Read about group reading in our post which offer ideas to motivate reluctant readers.
  5. Read to research. Give some time to your students to research scientific topics, cultural themes and art projects.
  6. Drama and role play. Read our tips on role plays.
  7. Extensive listening. Read our tips on extensive listening.
  8. Browse and recommend. Ask your students to browse and read bits of the books in the classroom library. Then they can recommend books to each other and explain why they would like to read the books they have picked. Or, if they are not interested in a book, they can still recommend it to another student.

Remember to use the questions in the reflection boxes in the Helbling Readers, and if you are reading different materials, ask engaging questions to help your students reflect on their own reading and make personal connections with the text.


Download our set of reading schedules, planners and diaries, then browse our Book Club Starter Kit and have fun with our tests, quizzes and activities.


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It is also a good idea to have simple sticky notes at hand to mark who is reading each book, and use them as bookmarks in case the students don’t have their own. Of course you can also prepare your own bookmarks, check out our ideas here.

What are your best reading management practices? Share them with us!

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