Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Choosy Readers Choose Chapters

I have a lot of books, really great books, organized and leveled and ready to read. BUT my second graders were still mostly picking picture books. Don't get me wrong, I know picture books can have strong vocabularies, wonderful messages, help kids explore topics they might not ordinarily pick up, etc. BUT they were changing books ALL THE TIME. Chapter books make kids feel like big readers. Instead of saying "I'm on the page with the picture of" whatever, they can say "I'm on page 6 of chapter four". How cool is that?
To encourage their reading of chapter books, I decided to give them a bulletin board and a chance to show off their chapter books.When they are done reading two chapter books by the same author (just to prove they can read more than one chapter book) (and to become classroom experts on the author), they will complete the sheet with their picture for the board and in my classroom receive a $5 gift card to a place with some good chicken nuggets.
I haven't mentioned yet that I have a classroom angel twice a week. He is a retired member of my church that loves kids and has coached for years. I convinced him last year that I was going to need help with my little friends who were still working on the ABCs in second grade, and he came back again this year for more torture fun.  He is also very generous financially, supplying goldfish in megaboxes for snacks, $$$ for books through Scholastic, and kick-ins for holiday parties. We've already purchased over 20 books per student to take home on their levels and interests. It was time to do something that would really get them reading those books. So... Choosy Readers Choose Chapters. With gift cards as extra incentive.