Read to the Top!

Read to the Top!

Most teachers are always looking for new ways to get their students interested in reading. One of our favorite reading activities is a “Read to the Top” contest. In these contests, much like in some local library summer reading programs, students compete to read the most books.

There are several resources that can help you plan a similar activity. A lot of libraries have Pinterest boards set up with book ideas (some are left over from summer reading programs – but hey, don’t we all wish it were summertime all year round?). Another great Pinterest board has links to all kinds of library-based activities to complete with your students, but my favorite is this awesome March Madness-esque bracket, where students read each book, then vote on the winner. Why not start a blog where students have to post their rationales for choosing the winner based on some good, old-fashioned CCSS criteria like an analysis of the author’s craft and structure?

Not interested in tracking the number of books your students read, but rather the actual time they spend reading? You may have heard of a service called MyON, which provides students with thousands of eBooks (they can read on or offline). The system allows teachers to assign specific books, but it will also just recommend books to students based on Lexile level (derived from a diagnostic test students take when they start using it). Then, the system tracks how many minutes each student spends reading.

You could pull up the dashboard for your class each day on the interactive whiteboard and spend a moment tracking who is in the lead. You’ll see those times start to soar as the finish line looms.

What is your favorite activity to encourage your students to read? Post about it below in the comments!