On Sunday, I posted about how our school made the decision to leave Accelerated Reader and go in a different direction. You can read about that post here. We decided that we could do better for our students and we want to promote reading for the pure joy and entertainment that it can bring rather than promote reading with rewards. In short, we want the students to love reading the way adults love reading by participating in real life reading activities so their reading will continue outside of the classroom.
Our plan for our student’s reading instead of AR (this occurs for us during SSR time- not guided reading time) will be focused on in two parts.
Part one: What will happen during SSR time instead of reading AR books and taking tests?
Students will be reading as much and more “in” school as they did with AR. The hope is by making it a real authentic activity “in” school it has a better chance of continuing “outside” the walls of the school.
What do you do when you are reading a great book? You can’t wait to tell a friend about the book so they can read it too! Here are some real, authentic activities that can be a part of your plan instead of using AR. All of it centering around reading and conversations.
* Reading of ALL types and genres of fabulous books
* Book Talks with Peers- could be set up like a book talk in a cafe
with drinks and snacks
* Book Shares- share a part of your story that has wonderous words or vivid
vocabulary, what a great way to find more mentor texts to tie reading into
* Book Buddies pairing older students with younger students
* Book Recommendation Walls
* Conferencing with students- listed last, but is the MOST important part
Part two: How will we enhance our student’s reading without having reward parties that only include part of our student population?
* Themed Reading Afternoons- we will hold these once a quarter for
EVERYONE to be involved, themes that have been mentioned are camping (set up tents, sleeping bags, pillows, flashlights in hall and everyone reads for a period of time, could make smores also), breakfast in bed (dress in pjs, bring stuffed animals, eat bagels while enjoying books)
* Guest Readers to our school- local authors, news anchors (kids think they
are celebrities), high school athletes, etc….
The possibilities are almost endless for how teachers could promote reading- the fun and enjoyment of it- within their classrooms! This is a work in progress for us, but we are so excited about it! If your school does anything like this, we would love to hear about it. 🙂