Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spark Student Motivation Saturdays- Sunshine State Reader Ice Cream Social

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.