As our year winds down (1 week left!), the summer months of doing nothing looms ahead…
Actually, they will be quite busy. But… I always like to make sure that our students are reading. If they are reading, they are learning.
So, they have a Reading Challenge this summer. In the past we have had a couple different challenges. Some working out better than others. The first challenge, if I remember correctly, was to just read something 5 out of the 7 days of the week. The parents took it to the next level, and required them to read 2 hours every day! I was in shock, and quietly confided to my wife that there was no way that would fly. Come to find out, they stuck with it pretty well, and it is from that summer that readers were born.
My next attempt was to cumulatively read ½ of our existing library of some 500 books. Out of our goal of 235 books, we reached about 125. Not bad, but there were some weaknesses there, of which the kids too full advantage. First of all, in order to discourage the reading of next-to-nothing picture books, I took pictures of them holding the book they just finished. That cured most, but not all of that problem. I thought I was pretty crafty. That led to another problem however, when one of my students wanted to be pictured with the LARGEST book he could find, our Atlas. And of course he read the atlas.
As I have completed 4 ½ years of teaching now, I can tell that I am starting to get more of a grasp on things. This year, I thought through our goal a little better, enlisted the kids’ input and opinion, did the math, and gauged different incentives. I even did a 1 week trial run with the worksheet to work out the recording details.
In the end, we have a cumulative (all 5 kids, and myself) goal to reach 10,000 pages, starting this last week of school, and continuing for 15 weeks over the summer, ending September 1.
Some of the “guidelines”:
– They can only re-read one book that they have read before. (It amazes me how ready they were to re-read entire series of books – for the 3rd or 4th time!)
– We will record our progress weekly.
– We will not be recording daily. That is a lesson learned from our practice week. We will just count the pages on the day the book is finished.
– The incentive is Amazon gift cards. If the first cumulative goal of 10,000 pages is meet, each kid will get a $20 gift card to be used however they want.
– The bigger incentive is a stair step reward ending up with meeting the 30,000 page goal. A $50 Amazon card!
The kids are excited, and if projections are accurate, each of the kids should end up reading 1-3 books per week this summer. As a teacher, I would be ecstatic if they end up at that pace.
We will see how things progress. I honestly think that they will meet it without too much help from me.