As I've stepped into this role, there have been many things that I've wanted to go back and change in my previous classrooms, such as minimum reading requirements. Why would I limit my readers to just 15 or 20 minutes a night if they would have read 30? Why wouldn't I encourage my reluctant readers through high-interest text selection and work on finding good books for them rather than counting minutes? So...I've taken one day during the week to talk about books we've read, do a book talk, and go to the library to find good fit books with high-interest levels. Yes, this is an entire 30 minutes where the mini-lesson is directed toward determining the central message or theme, finding rhythm and rhyme in words, or responding to our reading through writing.
To encourage reading, I of course, headed to Pinterest and blogs to see what other people had created for reading incentives. I came across The Teacher Wife's reading incentive chart and liked the concept, but wasn't sure my 3rd and 4th grade boys would want necklaces. From this, I started thinking what I could do that would visually encourage reading. I made a tag for each of my ESL kiddos, bought some ribbon, and went to town. The title of our board? Real.Hard.Reading.Work.
First of all, they just love to see their name, and they all get their own ribbon. I lined all of them up on the wall, and each time they get to another 100, they get a new card to put on their ribbon, but they also get a ticket in our school-wide positive behavior system. Those tickets are like gold, so the kids are really excited!
Happy Fall, and enjoy your extra hour of sleep tonight with Daylight Savings Time!