Do your students need a boost in motivation for reading at home? This summer a girlfriend of mine and I were brainstorming ideas for her second graders. She wanted to implement a program that might help her students track their progress and reflect on growth in their at home reading. After much discussion we decided to go big or go home!
Note: this program does involve a small amount of extra class time and some classroom wall space to make it really fun.
Each month students get a "Scooping Up Books" reading calendar to use as log. On the back side is a printed reflection sheet for students to do a very simple review of their favorite book that month. Each day students log the number of minutes or pages (whichever you prefer) on to the ice cream scoop. They also check off the different genres they read in any given month. She does not require them to read from any particular genre, but you could if you were so inclined. I also know some teachers like to have parent involvement with reading logs so my thought was parents could initial in each scoop if needed.
We decided that goal setting was going to be a critical part of this program. Each month students set a goal for themselves. At the end of each month they chart their personal progress and then set a new goal for the following month.
Additionally, each month a class total is calculated. This is the part that takes some time on your part. You can set it up as a quick whole class math activity, assign a student each month to calculate or just do it yourself. As a part of the incentive we created a class bulletin board to show progress or need for improvement...depending on the month.
If you want to create a cute 'Scooping Up Books' display you simply need an ice cream cone or dish labeled for each month of the school year. Determine as a class how many minutes/pages a scoop of ice cream should equal. You may need to determine this based on the size of your bulletin board space. Then, at the end of each month add the appropriate number of scoops. My girlfriend has the students who read the most each month decorate the scoops before hanging them up! I can't wait to see what it looks like in June!
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