In addition to our classroom instructional reading programs, we offer a motivational reading program through our library and PTC. This program has the goal of motivating our readers to read more and earn prizes for reaching their reading goals.
During the past three years we have monitored the involvement and noticed that interest in the program declines as students grow older. This trend matches the national trend with these types of reward based, motivational programs. To find out why older students are less interested, we surveyed teachers and readers in grades 3, 4, 5.
Angie Roon, our current Reading Counts Chairperson, found that students wanted the following:
- Fewer parties and more interesting incentives as prizes.
- Request to read many books rather than just RC books.
Interestingly, we found that teachers know their students. Teachers also stated that upper elementary students desired fewer parties–and some stated that their readers would enjoy getting gift cards to buy books of their own choosing rather than go to a party. Knowing that our lower elementary students enjoy parties, we came up with a new incentive that we believe combines the BEST OF THE BEST and still maintains a fun, motivational reading program. Also, due to our MPR being in use all day long every day, we no longer have the option of using this for parties three times each year.
The focus of this year’s Reading Counts will Be THROUGH THE DECADES. Angie Roon and her team will feature books written about the periods of 1920, 1950 and 1980. In addition, they will share fun facts about these decades. At the end of the year, there will be one Reading Counts Through the Decades Party for all those who participated in the program this year. We will also offer the following as mini and big prize periods:
Four Mini-Goal Point Periods and Two Big Drawings
Readers receive a small prize for making their goal. Each time they make their goal, they will enter the drawing for bigger prizes.
- RC Goal #1: 10/23
- RC Goal #2: 12/11
Drawing for Bigger RC Prizes: December 15.
- RC Goal #3: 2/26
- RC Goal #4: 5/7
Drawing for Bigger RC Prizes: May 11.
We also recognize (through student input) that many of our readers want to read NON-RC’s books and have these count toward their reading goal. To honor this type of reading, a student simply needs to complete a BOOK BLOG form. This is a simple form that can be done at home or school, and it is done online.
When it is completed, Mrs. VandenBerg will receive an email alert. The reader will receive a ticket to enter in the drawing for each BOOK BLOG form completed. The BOOK BLOGS will then be posted on the class blogs to promote books for other readers. Links to this form can be found on the right of this blog, under LINKS and also on the teacher’s blog.
Finally, a new an exciting goal: A t-shirt will be given to each reader who reads 1,000,000 words this year. This is our Million Word Club, and we are excited to kick this off!
ONE END of THE YEAR CELEBRATION : June 4, 2010 This is for ALL students who have participated in RC’s this year!
We look forward to an exciting year of reading at Georgetown. Many thanks to Angie Roon and Julie VandenBerg for helping to work out this new program to benefit readers at our school.
T0 find out more about the program, you can read this parent letter: Reading Counts Parent