Dr. Seuss
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Reading pay$--we've got millionaire$!

So excited about this year's reading program for our upper grades 4-6. We've been learning that READING really does PAY! In an effort to focus book talks, encourage variety in reading choices and increase the numbers of books the students read, I began a new reading program.
Each month the students are given an opportunity to earn a MILLION DOLLARS for a variety of different books. I found the million dollar bills at our local grocery store for 2$, but I have seen them online.

How do they earn a million dollars?

Here is a list of just some of the ways that they can earn a million dollars:

September-October:  Read a Newbery or Newbery Honor Book. Actually this offer extends through the entire year.
November-December:  Coordinated with the individual teachers in their science and history curriculum. The students could read any biography about a scientist. (I had a 4th grade boy read a book about Marie Curie and he was FASCINATED!)
January-February:  We have focused on books for Black History month, the civil war, American History, and inventors. They could also earn a million dollars by memorizing the Gettysburg address.
March-April:  Students earn a million dollars for poetry and art books.

I have a rack where I display possible Million Dollar books for reading.

Before they get the million bucks . . . a book talk!

The students must write a paragraph (3-5 sentences) about the book. I have a form available for them. When they turn in the form, I know they are ready to earn their Million. When the class is gathered, I have the student read the 3-5 sentences to the class. It's an instant short book talk! As a class, we give them a round of applause and I award them their money. If we have many students reporting, we skip reading time, but it's been exciting to see the variety of books that are checked out since we started earning money for reading. The paragraphs are displayed, with their picture, in the library. I took them down in December and we are filling up the wall again.

Now it's time to spend!

I set up a "6-5-4 Bookstore" full of discarded books for sale, erasers, candy, scented bookmarks, puzzles, posters and other prizes. The students can spend their million bucks or keep it as a bookmark. In December I awarded the class with the most Million Dollar Readers.

We are having so much fun!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Wars

Each year before school starts, I lay awake at night dreaming up a reading incentive program. Our K-8 charter school has about 180 students. We have one class for each grade. The small size makes it possible to do a lot of fun things. I think they could be adapted to a school of any size.
One of my students chose to battle Darth Vader as Darth Vader. Highly successful reader and an accomplished Jedi.
<a href="http://pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmrsdeckerinthelibrary.blogspot.com%2F&media=http%3A%2F%2Fmrsdeckerinthelibrary.blogspot.com%2F&description=Book%20Wars%3A%20a%20fun%20library%20reading%20incentive%20program!%20Students%20earn%20Jedi%20reading%20levels%20and%20the%20opportunity%20to%20battle%20Darth%20Vader." class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal"><img border="0" src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/PinExt.png" title="Pin It" /></a> One year I created "Book Wars." I created Jedi Levels of reading, customized to each grade level. The levels were challenging enough to inspire, yet attainable. Each student had a Jedi Level training sheet. I kept these training sheets in a binder. When students completed a book on their training level, they would record it on their own training sheet. When the sheet was complete, they had to pass Jedi Training. For instance, I would ask them about book locations in the library, the differences between fact and fiction, the summary of one of their books.
Then the fun! When a student completed their Jedi level, they come to the front of the class. I turned on the Star Wars theme song. As the song played, they were given a cape, a toy light saber and a mask if they wished. They could now battle Darth Vader. I had a life-size cut out of Darth Vader. We took their picture of them battling Darth Vader. I printed their picture onto a Jedi certificate, signed by the principal and me. Their certificates were hung on the wall.
This library reading incentive program was highly successful. The students were eager to complete their Jedi levels. We had students try for higher Jedi levels, after completing the Jedi level for their grade. Having fun in the library again!