Encourage independent reading by turning reading time into party time.
We're all familiar with the stories of principals who have climbed trees, shaved their beards, and thrown school-wide pizza parties to reward students for their independent reading accomplishments. And, as teachers, we've certainly rewarded our students' reading productivity in similar ways.
But have you considered -- instead of throwing a party to reward kids for reading -- having a party at which reading is the reward? Make reading fun in your classroom by making it the focus of one of the "parties" featured below.
Set up tents in the classroom. Invite students to bring in sleeping bags and read by flashlight.
Have students wear their pajamas and favorite slippers or socks, and invite them to bring in small blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. Then all cuddle up with a good book.
Award each student mileage based on the number of pages he or she reads (one page = 1 mile). Encourage students to track their mileage on a map of the country they're reading about. How far can they travel?
"Hats Off to Reading" Party:
Students wear their favorite hats to school or create funny hats to wear while they read.
"Here's the Scoop on Reading" Party:
Students earn ice cream toppings -- sprinkles, syrup, cherries, whipped cream -- based on specified reading goals. End the day with an ice cream sundae party.
Encourage students to bring in rubber rafts, inner tubes, beach blankets, and beach chairs, and to dress in beach clothes. Then invite them to read "in the sand."
101 Dalmatian Party:
Celebrate "101 Reasons to Read" with a Dalmatian Celebration. Read for 101 minutes then write songs, poems, and stories about dogs. Invite a local veterinarian or dog trainer to be your special reading guest.
Invite students to come dressed as their favorite detectives -- and armed with a mystery book to read.