Simple recipe...

A new way to read books


We are excited to announce the new RM Books reading experience is here. With the fantastic teacher-tools you can enhance and personalise ebooks by working on top of them.Teachers can aid their students' comprehension by adding annotations, helpful videos, audio and images and by linking to other engaging and relevant web resources to bring the text to life, right within the ebooks. 


Teachers can also add quizzes to test students’ understanding, which are then auto-marked and presented back to the teacher ready for their next tailored interaction.


Simply log into your RM Books account and try the new tools - why not have a go with one of the free books and see how you can turn an ebook into a workbook.




1.   Introduce your reading-for-pleasure
      project to your students

  • Explain that students can read anything they like on RM Books, fiction or non-fiction, and show lots of examples of books you think will match their interests.
  • Reinforce that they get to choose whatever they like. Choice seems to increase enthusiasm for reading and helps students stick with it.
  • Explain they can read whenever they like, including at home on games systems, their own phones or tablets, as well as in school on devices in rooms X, Y, Z and the library, and when those rooms are open. You don’t want any barriers to reading. Manchester’s students have chosen to read mostly at home.



  • If you’re going to include a prize or incentive for the most books read, most Accelerated Reader points accrued, or the most progress in reading level made, then tell everyone about it from day one, keep it simple and provide regular updates on progress.
  • Support this project with timetabled reading time, such as an hour a week in the library or a classroom.
  • Provide internet-connected devices (PCs, tablets, netbooks) for all students during that hour, or, trust students to use their own SmartPhones or tablets for reading at school.

2.  Baseline your students’ reading level

  • Manchester Academy use popular literacy assessment software as a great way to understand the reading levels the students are starting from.
  • You may also want to include a simple reading habits and reading motivation questionnaire so you can track how both change before, during and after your study. Here’s an example of suitable questionnaires for staff and students.
  • Make sure students know their own “book level” e.g Accelerated Reader level or reading age, so they can find the right books for them.

3.  Send out logins and show students
     how to choose and request books

  • Send students their logins. They no doubt discover the offline apps for themselves. This email template will help you do that quickly.
  • Show students how they can combine search keywords and left hand filters in RM Books to find books that interest them.
  • Show students how to use their “book level” from Star Reader(R), read the publisher’s description and preview the first few pages of a book to be confident their chosen book is at the right level for them. 
  • Step through requesting a book, showing the students your screen so they can see how easily you can grant those requests.
  • Show students how to look-up all words they don’t understand using the built-in dictionary.
Section 6

4.  Grant students’ requests promptly and
     positively reinforce

  • You can see students’ book requests by logging in to RM Books and checking the number next to “Book requests” at the top left within “My links”. Click “Book requests” to see the requested books.
  • Click the “View request” button to see which students have requested each book.
  • Grant a student’s request by then clicking “Allocate” > “Individual person”, start typing the student’s name and select them from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose “Rental” and pick the appropriate time period from the drop-down menu, typically 7 or 30 days. Click “Allocate now” and “Confirm allocation”, then your student will have the book to read.
  • It’s a great feeling to see requests for books come in from your reluctant reader students, so seize the moment and grant those requests quickly. All teachers can grant book requests, so divide the task between you and colleagues so you check and grant requests a few times a day. Ensure you check and grant requests in the evening, as many requests are likely to come in then.
  • Knowing their “book level” will help students choose appropriate books. Where you suspect a student has selected a book that’s going to be too hard, it may be worth granting those requests anyway and just use the “Reports” usage monitoring screen to check how they’re getting on. Rejecting requests can be quite demotivating and anyway, you may be pleasantly surprised!
  • Positively reinforce their choice with each student. 

5. Monitor reading and retest reading level
    at the end of each term

  • You can easily monitor which students are reading which books and for how long using the “Reports” section of RM Books. Choose “Users” and select your students to see a breakdown. Optionally, if you’ve added these students to a Group, e.g. “Reading-for-pleasure year 7”, selecting that group will speed-up finding students.  You can export this reading data for your records.
  • This usage reporting is only visible to teachers. You could choose to show students you have these screens and use the data with students in one-to-one discussions or make a fun competition out of the reading stats.
  • Rerun your reading level test at the end of each term to provide a regular tracking of whether reading level is improving as a result of the reading that’s been going on.
  • Use reading monitoring to engage in a dialogue about books with your students, to intervene where progress is not being made, and as evidence to praise progress. 
Over 5 months the results have been astounding!
Rob Chisnall, Assistant Headteacher, Manchester Academy