As the year winds down and state testing diminishes in the rearview mirror, it can become increasingly difficult to keep our students motivated. Of course, a lot of keeping their brains tuned in depends on us... keeping our lessons exciting and our expectations and enthusiasm in high gear... but there are a few little "contest" gimmicks that might help.
THE WORDS READ CHALLENGE:
If you pull up your Books Read Report, it will show you the number of words each student has read in the reading group and the total for the entire class.
For the Class:
You can use the class total to set a series of group goals. For example, with the class shown above, I might set up a series of benchmarks, each with an increasingly bigger prize.
***Make sure to remind the students that they can't rush through books because the words for each book only count if they pass the Reading Counts Quiz.
LEXILE GOAL CHALLENGE:
Pull up your Growth Goals Report.
For the Class:
Get a percentage for how many students have met their yearly goal. Share this percentage with the class and challenge them to increase it by the end of the year (i.e. if 60% of the kids have met their goal, make the challenge 75%). If you want, you can then conference with individual students about whether they have already met their goal and what they need to do to achieve or maintain it.
Set up a cool prize or party that everyone gets if the class meets the challenge.
Conference with individual students.
For those that have not met their yearly goal, that is their challenge.
For those who have, either make proficient their goal (where realistically achievable) or set a concrete Lexile you'd like them to reach.
Set up a prize they can win by meeting their goal.
Pull up your Instructional Planning Report.
Set a class goal of moving up so many proficiency levels (from Far Below to Below or from Below to Proficient) on the next Reading Inventory. Base you goal on the numbers you are dealing with... i.e. set the bar high, but make sure it's reachable. And make sure the class prize is something worth striving for!