So as this school year is underway I was thinking of ways to get my students to read more. Text in hand is such an important part of literacy and getting my students to work on this outside of the classroom was nearly impossible. Every night there homework was to read for 20 minutes and still about half of my students were not doing it. I was so puzzled on what to do. My class this year actually enjoys reading and literacy so I was stumped.
I had talked to my grade level and in the past they had done chapter book studies but that did not interest all students. I wanted all students interested in reading and I wanted it to relate back to our classroom studies (difficult task I know). So I went to the internet to see what I could find. There were hundreds of things I could us, I was so excited to see how this would turn out. I continued my hunt and found the 40 book challenge. I was able to adapt it to my classroom. My students had been reviewing/ learning about genre and story elements. This was the perfect time to introduce our challenge.
We will be reading 40 chapter books in total but they have to be from varying genres. After reading each book students are to record their book and genre and write a summary to prove that they actually read the book. When this was introduced to my students they were so excited, I had never seen students so excited to read and wanting to read.
We are almost a month into our challenge and it amazes me how much my students are still involved in it. Many of them are two books in and reading multiple books at a time and are able to keeps the story lines apart. They verbally tell me about them all the time and their summaries (which need a some help- next lesson idea how to write a summary) are showing they did read and enjoyed it. We have set aside 5-10 minutes everyday to work on our challenge per student request. This group amazes me with what they want to do. I gave them this challenge and each of them has personalized it to fit their interest. Along with reading the required genres they are able to have their own choice and they are picking books that they never would have touched before.
Now if you have read my previous post I have been attempting to use technology in my literacy plans but this challenge is our book in hand. Since I am at a title one school my students do not have tablets or nooks at home, and some do not even have books but they are able to get books from our classroom library, the school library and many of them go to the public library. They love having the books in their hands and reading. So far in our lessons with technology my students have completely enjoyed it and been able to take away so much. You can check out our work here.