reading incentives

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by BethG, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. BethG

    BethG Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    I've been out of school for 2 days and am working on next year!! For the past two school years, we've have been pretty regimented about our pacing- teach a story per week from the basal... I'm ready to go retro- teaching next year and return to quietly teaching novels and reintroducing reading incentive programs. Any good incentive ideas to truly motivate? I teach 4th grade.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 10, 2007

    Hi, Beth - I also teach fourth graders and would go insane using a story per week! I try to mix it up -both for the kids and me. I use the basal sparingly, novels (both whole class and small group), short stories from other sources, Time for Kids, Reader's Theatre, independent reading choice time, etc. The students love Reader's Theatre and it really helps with fluency. I also use my read-aloud choices as a mini author study. Let me know if you need more specifics.

    PS - I also got out of school Friday and have started thinking about next year (I know I have a really challenging group coming up).
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 10, 2007

    For reading incentives I use something called Fitness Finders. Doesn't sound like it is made for reading - because it was originally used for phys ed awards - for miles walked or run. I give out a keychain and students earn one plastic charm (shaped like a foot or a book) per book project completed. The feet would be really cute for incentives for your class. They come in all colors and glow-in-the-dark. They are quite inexpensive. www.fitnessfinders.net
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
  5. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2007

    Daisy, thank you for the site! (It is .net, though. :) ) They have so many different charms! I am thinking about getting a variety of them for my 5th graders to make a type of Award Charm Bracelet. Thank you for sharing!

    My kids are always begging for extra credit work which I hate because I never know how to figure it into their grade fairly, so I have started giving reading coupons. For every 15 Accelerated Reader points they earn on qualifying books, they get a coupon which is good for either a Half-an-Assignment or Extra Credit in the subject of their choice. They serve both as a motivator to read more and help out on the Extra Credit requests.

    I also do an Reading Adventure Club where students have to earn a certain number of points to belong. I have a jar where students, after discussing them with me, put in suggestions of an adventure we can take together. At the end of the year, we draw a card to see where our adventure will take us. :)

    Our elementary also has a school store where they earn reading tokens to shop. We also do several reading promotions throughout the year. We do both class teams and teams which are made up of students from each grade level. These promotions usually culminate in a party or activity of some sort for all participants. We do occationally make it more competitive where one team "wins".

    We did a really fun activity this winter that was actually used to promote something else, but could be applied to reading just as easily. :) It was based on a snowball fight. For every so many reading points, a team is allowed to snowball another team. A large, paper snowball is placed outside the door of the receiving team. The team with the least snowballs wins. It was a lot of fun, and was very interesting to see the strategic thinking it brought out in the students. :D
     
  6. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Jun 11, 2007

    I LOVE the keychain idea! I could really see my children getting into that. I might just adopt your idea Upsadaisy :D
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I've used it with 3rd graders and 5th graders and they all loved it. I keep the bookmarks with the keychain attached to the end hanging off push pins on book cutouts. They look cute.
     
  8. teach57

    teach57 Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2007

    I couldn't imagine doing a basal story a week all year long! That would make me go a bit crazy, not to mention the students. What I did this past year (with 4th graders) was to do a month of basal stories, picking a unit and doing about one story a week. Then after about 3 or 4 stories or the month, I switched to a month of novel studies. The kids really liked the break from the basal and the fun projects that went along with the novels we read. I suggest Summer of the Monkey by Wilson Rawls for a great novel to do some comparing with the movie. Big differences. Just a suggestion...;)
     
  9. BethG

    BethG Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2007

    This was our second year using this series. For the first year, our curriculum director asked us to honor the pacing and give the series a chance. She felt we'd do it a disservice if we didn't try the story per week deal. There are weeks we're teaching a story and assessing the entire theme. The kids take the theme test on paper and fill out a scan sheet so our admin. looks at our class results as well. We were also expected to give the publisher's story quiz at the end of every week. So, YES, it did make me a bit crazy. We even met with a consultant from the publisher to see if we were doing something wrong in our pacing/ teaching. She agreed with the story per week idea. I'm speed teaching!! I can still teach the expected skills, but I believe I can teach them more thoroughly my way. But, as I said, I'm looking forward to "retro" teaching. Teach 57- I love your ideas!
     
  10. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Our school has basal readers, but I don't use them. I find that the lower and higher levels kids get frustrated or bored. The lower kids will pretend to move along with us, and get frustrated after a while. My higher kids are bored and will start talking right away.

    I use guided reading combined with centers. My middle students use the basal, and I differentiate for the lower and upper kids. Then again, I taught first grade and am moving to second grade, so this is easier in the lower levels. I don't know how it works in the upper elementary levels.
     
  11. BethG

    BethG Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2007

    I am struggling with guided reading at this level. I've signed up for a workshop on teaching guided reading for 4th-8th grade, so we'll see... I'm optimistic, which is more than half the battle sometimes!
     

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