Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Unmotivated Reader...

A few days ago, I looked up from my guided reading group to scan the classroom. I was frustrated to see my independent readers NOT READING. A few of them were actually staring at me. Creepy. I redirected and moved on.

Fast forward to today. At our school, we do "Books and Breakfast", so after my students complete their Morning Message, they grab some grub (we eat breakfast in the classroom) and they read while they eat. Well.... we used to. Today, I looked up and noticed breakfast eaters, Morning Message-ers, but NO READERS.

I was freaking out, y'all. My READERS weren't READING. My kiddos went from telling me EVERY DETAIL OF EVERY BOOK to nada. Zilch. Nothing. I went from, "Ohhh, you made ANOTHER connection??? Really? Already?" to "Put your nose in your book!"

I knew my fourth graders were not enjoying reading.
And I knew I sounded like a JERK telling them to READ, READ, READ when they SO did not want to. I mean, isn't throwing tiny pieces of paper at your neighbor more interesting than that Big Nate book?

So I asked my kiddos to come up with some ideas to help re-motivate them (not gonna to lie, I may have "planted" some of the ideas).

My sweet kiddos said, "Bring back the reading logs!" and I thought, I reeeeaaaaally want you to enjoy reading without having to log your time because that makes it feel like something you have to do, not want to do, so I replied with, "OK, let's think of a way we can record our reading."

My sweet kiddos said, "We could summarize our chapters!" and I thought, Eh, I don't want to read 239 summaries (DON'T JUDGE ME), so I replied with, "OK, let's come up with a way to quickly summarize what we're reading."

I'm going to quickly sum up how the rest of our brainstorming session went:

Me: "What if we write book reviews!!"
Kids: *Intrigued*
Me: "After y'all read, you could summarize your book and rate it so your friends know if they should read it!"
Kids: "We could give our books stars!"
Me: "Sure! How about 3 stars!"
Kids: "Make it 5!"
Me: "Ok! 5 it is! And let's make sure we don't give away the ending... So let's just summarize the beginning and the middle"
Kids: "This sounds fun!"
Me to myself: THANK YOU, LORD! My kids want to read again! And I have a quick way to check what they're reading!

I'm not going to lie, I haven't tried out the book review thing yet... So I can't swear that it works. I'll definitely update y'all once I try it out. BUT I will say my kids are SO STOKED about reading. Like, so stoked they were ready to write reviews on sticky notes!

So yeah... I'm pretty excited to show up maƱana with these review papers. I think I might shut down the classroom for some major D.E.A.R. time so they can really dig into their books.

I want YOU to try out these, too! So I've uploaded them for you to use FO' FREE! Because all kiddos  should get all jazzed about reading! Just click the pic to be taken to the download!

If you download, PLEASE let me know how your kiddos like these review papers! They're short and to the point. Book Title, Beginning, Middle and Rating. BOOM.


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