What will a Principal do to motivate her students to read? Our Principal Susan Phillips agreed to be slimed if 90% of the students met their first nine weeks goal. In our first grade classroom that meant that students were required to read and log in 25 books that they read at home. Each night the students take a book-in-the bag home. The book is chosen from the 12 books that each child has in his/her "book buddy." These are the same books that they read during independent reading time at school and change out each week. In the bag is also a sheet to log the book each night, Monday through Thursday. It is the student's responsibility to log the book - not the parent's. Each student who read and logged the 25 books met his Readers-to-Leaders goal. We could have assured that every student met the goal by having the students read and log the books during class time but decided on this more difficult goal because we didn't want to take the time away from reading during Readers' Workshop to log the book and we thought it was important that even our youngest children begin to develop the routine of reading every night. While I am NOT an advocate of homework for first graders, I am a real advocate for children reading at home every single night!
However, having said that, we were very disappointed that we didn't have 90% of our class who met their first nine weeks goal. Of course, that doesn't change our resolve to get our children to read at home! We are so fortunate that our Principal is willing to put herself out there to motivate our children so that we are able to use the event to remind our students how important we think reading really is! Next nine weeks the children have an opportunity to make up the first nine weeks goal and meet the second nine weeks goal of 30 books (plus the 25 they read the first nine weeks). If they meet the goal they will be on their way to reading a million words during the year and will be invited to Book Bonanza Bingo with the Principal! We are expecting every single child to meet their goal!!!