by Kirstin Lick, 3rd/4th Grade teacher on the Beverly Campus
This past week at NSCS all three campuses intentionally took the time to slow down from the business of school and just read! I am the 3rd and 4th Grade teacher on the Beverly campus and wanted this week not just to be a time to just to read, but also to challenge and allow each student to share and get excited about the next page.
On Tuesday morning when all the students came in they noticed plastic bins with their names printed on them and two books neatly stacked in them. The students were full of questions and eventually it was time to hand out the bookmarks that had eight stars. Each star represents a challenge, our goal as a class was if we could get 56 stars punched by Friday they would get a free snack and an extra recess next week. This was a huge incentive, and the stakes became more exciting as I told them there will be two alarms that will go off randomly throughout the day. It could happen at any time and we HAD to stop whatever we were doing (math, social studies, ELA, Bible…) and READ!
They were told how they had to read, on the floor, under desks, on the stairs, even chewing gum! The challenges ranged from showing what they were reading through Playdo or forming a mini book group to share what their book was about. All the challenges had to do with what they were reading so they had to pay attention so they could win!
I was so amazed to see all my students, all with different reading levels, rise to the occasion. Students who traditionally weren’t comfortable sharing in class were jumping to share about their book with each other even before the challenge was read aloud. As a teacher, I learned just how easy it can be to get them excited when there is just the right motivation but also allowing them to talk and share what they are reading. This is something that I hope inspires you as parents, if you are struggling to get your child to open up their books at home to come up with fun incentives that will excite and engage them.
I am proud to say my students did indeed achieve the 56 points and will be enjoying their prize this week; but the bigger prize was they didn’t want it to end. They wanted to keep reading and that is the desire I want for all my students, to love to read and not to stop!