Linking up again with Head Over Heels for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays. Last Friday I had my Reading Counts party, Reading is Magic, for students who reached a goal of 125 points. The students get to stay after school on a Friday until 8pm (and they are excited about it). There were students who had a hard time concentrating in school on Friday because they were so excited (*cough, cough* Mrs. Miller).
When the students first arrive right after school they are given a snack and I give them a run down of the evening ahead of them. This years schedule was:
2:00-2:45 Check in and snack
2:45-3:15 Our awesome science teacher, Ms. Portigo, did a rocket launch for the kids.
3:15-4:15 Fun, interesting, exciting science experiments (Slime, Rotocopters, Hoopster airplanes, and more)
4:15-5:15 (which turned into 5:30 because of an impromptu dance party) Misc. activities such as ice cream making, monster book marks (seen them on Pinterest???), scooter races, sidewalk chalk, and 4 pin dodgeball.
5:30-6:15 Dinner (Pizza and left over snacks) and a movie (Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves)
6:15-7:30 Minute to Win It games, they earned tickets for each task they were able to complete.
7:30-8:00 Was PRIZE TIME!!! I bought several books and prizes from the Book Fair I had recently and had them set out during the whole party. We were able to pull tickets for the whole 30 minutes. Every kids went home with at least 4 prizes and more books to READ.
The night was a huge success and a lot of fun. I am hoping we can get even more kids there next year :)
Today I am linking up with Head Over Heels for Teaching in her BRAND NEW linky party "Spark Student Motivation Saturday." She only wants us to share one idea, so her is my most recently used. Because I serve a whole school population and have 550 to 600 kids to motivate it can get time consuming and expensive. My main goal is to motivate kids to READ READ READ. Every year our state's media association (Florida Association for Media Educators- FAME) nominates 15 books for the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award. Any student in the state of Florida, grades 3-5, who reads 3 of these books is eligible to vote on their favorite, which becomes the winner for that year.
I order these books at the end of the school year and read them over the summer (and sometimes into the beginning of the school year) so that I can discuss them with the kids who read them. I have a bulletin board (which is just one of my huge windows that face out into the atrium of the school), that I have all the books on and the students have their name put under the book when they have read it and passed a Reading Counts test on it. The votes are usually due in the middle of April, so I have a deadline of the end of March. I have an ice cream social for all the students who qualify. The ones who read the most books get to choose their own pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. My main rule is "The more you read, the more you eat." For every book the students pass a test on they can choose one scoop of ice cream or topping. The student who reads all of them usually doesn't finish all of it. We had our ice cream social this year on April 1st (no joke), the day we got back from Spring Break (not sure what I was thinking there). But the kids had a lot of fun, and so did I.
WOW!!! It has been since October that I last posted. So much has gone on since then between literacy week, book fair, and TESTING. Between the last 2 it has been awhile since I have been able to delve into my world of books with the kiddos (I am going to do a seperate post on Literacy Week).
Now that my book fair is all packed up I am ready to READ with the students again. I have started the FRA (Florida Reading Association) books with the Kindergarteners through Second graders. This week we are reading Blackout by John Rocco and discussing how the illustrations help support the text. In the case of this book, the illustrations give you a lot more information than the text does. I am reading the book to them first without showing them the pictures. When I read it the second time we are discussing the details in the pictures to help them better understand the story. It is interesting to see how some of them interpret the pictures differently!!
Third grade is starting on a Non-Fiction Text Features book. We are focusing on a new feature every week. This week they are learning about Tables of Contents and how they help them become better researchers.
Fourth and fifth grades are being read The Cats of Krasinski Square which is a story about two brave sisters and a square full of cats who help smuggle food into a Jewish Ghetto. They are learning some background into the Haulocaust and exploring the theme of bravery/courage.
At Pride, we take literacy very seriously, and sometimes that can get a little goofy. The week of January 14th was a strange one around campus. You would see some crazy socks (Reading rocks, wear some funky socks), mismatched clothes (We’re Crazy for Books), hats (Hats off to Books), and favorite team jerseys (Score with Books).Doors across campus were decorated to support and encourage reading. Classes were in fierce competition to win the Reading Counts contest. The best part of the week, though, was the last day, Character Day. The students and teachers dressed up as their favorite book character and paraded around school for all to see. Characters visited classrooms to read their books to the students. Pride Elementary is definitely a school to visit during Literacy Week!
My absolute favorite week of the quarter, especially the first quarter. I only have my lower level prizes out because MOST kids don't have more than 25 points at this point. But, I do have one that is at almost 400 and another that has made it over 100. I love the first store because those kids that have not yet been motivated to take RC tests now have a little push when they see their friends getting prizes.
I have bins with each points levels (5, 10, 15, 25, 50, 100, and as the year gets on I have 200, 300, 400, and 500 too). The kids get to spend their points just like at a real store. I mark the points as used in SAM and that is that. I make the lowest point value 5 because I want them to have put a little itty bit of effort in before getting a prize. They like this because they get to choose the prizes the like instead of having one handed to them.
As I was reading this book I could put in the voice of most 5th grade girls I know. There is nothing Brianna Justice wants to do more than follow in her hero's footsteps. Miss Delicious attended the same elementary school as Brianna and attributes it to her success owning her own cupcake business and having a TV show. Brianna is now running to be the 5th grade class president and has her plans thwarted when a new girl, Jasmine Moon, enters the race. Will she push the limits to win the election? Will she be able to stay herself in order to win?