Trying to get students to read can be difficult and trying to get students to LOVE reading can be even more difficult. We all know that the number one way for students to improve in all areas is through READING!
reading level… their “Just Right Book.”
(usually 4th grade related at the beginning of the
year), Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Historical
Fiction, Biography and Mystery. But wait! That’s only 8 genres! We all have our
favorites and my teaching partner and I both live in the world of Fantasy, so
we tend to repeat it often. The whole goal of this is to teach your students
the elements of the genre by reading it aloud to your students. At the same
time, they are reading their genre book (the same genre as you) and pulling out
the same elements from their book. This genre book is also what we teach
through! So let’s say that my unit requires me to teach character traits,
relative pronouns, and similes. As we are reading the book aloud, we pull these
things out of our book. We model through the read aloud and students practice
through their own book. Genre books , often around 200 pages, usually take
students 5-8 days to complete.
Mythological Allusions! Traditional Literature books usually take students 3 days to complete.
text features. I could pull the character traits graphic organizer for my genre book, nonfiction text features for my nonfiction book, a theme graphic organizer for my traditional literature book and a generic graphic organizer or critics corner page for the free choice book! Students complete the graphic organizer as they read their
book. Because we use Interactive Readers’ Notebooks, we can tell who is reading through their responses! With
the breakdown of days above, you can see that most students finish their 4 books in just 23 days. That leaves plenty of time for slower readers and allows more time for advanced readers to read more books of their choice, which we call Extra Credit Books! We have created 41 graphic organizers… one for each standard with several generic graphic organizers for teachers to use throughout the year for their Golden Packets. Each golden packet is customizable to EXACTLY what you are teaching!
So what makes students want to read 40 books over the course of the year? I’m glad you asked! We have developed an incentive program that motivates students with many short term goals and rewards that MOST IMPORTANTLY doesn’t cost the teacher a penny! We have developed a game board that is in a lap book format.
Each child has a file folder with a game board inside where they track how many books they have read. At the end of each month, students who have proved that they have read their 4 books (by turning in the Golden Packet), get the chance to compete against other students who have also met their goal for a reward coupon. Students who complete their books are given a reward certificate. With this certificate, they get to compete in a different game, such as Battleship, each month. All game rules and materials are included! The winner of the game gets to choose from 20 reward coupons, such as “Teacher Answers One Problem on an Assignment.” These coupons have been included! Below is a picture of the reward coupons. We store them in baseball/trading card pages and hang them on our walls. Students love to look at them and choose which coupon they want to work toward earning!
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