New year, new resolutions! As an educator, have you made classroom resolutions with your students? Setting a goal to spend more time reading or to read a certain number of books before the end of the school year can be easy resolutions to achieve. Whatever your students’ reading goals are, it can be a challenge to keep them reading all year round without ongoing motivation and inspiration. Here are some ideas to help get your students pumped and ready to read through the year!
In this fun yet very manageable challenge, students are encouraged to expand their horizons by reading widely from a variety of genres. Students tend to discover a certain genre or style of books and stick to reading books from that category. Fantasy books or comics are common favorites, but introducing diversity in the books students are reading can have a multitude of benefits.
Science fiction pushes the limits of their imagination. Historical fiction breathes life into ancient characters. Biographies cultivate empathy and teach them about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Reading widely helps students increase their awareness of the world and enlarges the boundaries of the world they’ve come to know – and they can do this just by reading one book a month!
Encouraging students to read different genres can also help with engagement. When a student has the chance to explore a variety of books, they are more likely to develop a love of reading!
What better way to theme your students’ reading than by the seasons? Books about winter in January, stories about new beginnings for spring, reading outdoors during the long summer days – incorporate fun into reading by letting the spirit of each month or season shine through in the books your students read.
Brightly, A Penguin Random House Company has a variety of reading challenges for children that highlight key themes, celebrations or events each month or season. The April challenge focuses on National Humor Month and National Poetry Month, while the October challenge draws its inspiration from Halloween and the essence of autumn. Each challenge works in perfect harmony for the season and is sure to be a source of excitement for students as they look forward to each month’s challenge.
Read to Lead is redefining the word ‘millionaire’ – it isn’t just about dollars anymore. Inspire your students to become millionaires, simply by working together to reach a collective goal of one million words read on the Read to Lead platform. The Million Words Read Challenge runs from the 6th of January to the 30th of June, 2020, and can be a great motivator to encourage students to read more.
All classrooms and programs that have registered for a free Read to Lead account are automatically enrolled in the challenge. With every episode that each student completes (there are over 32 episodes across the three games!), they add 5,000 words to their individual and class tally of total words read, so the more they read, the closer they get to achieving their goal of becoming millionaires.
In 2019, the achievements of hundreds of students who had read over one million words on Read to Lead were celebrated at The Million Words Read Celebration Breakfast. Educators and students alike reported that their participation in the Million Words Read Challenge boosted student confidence and increased motivation, particularly among students with lower levels of academic achievement. This interactive gamified platform that allows students to track their progress is sure to inspire students to read and keep reading through the year to hit those goals and become millionaires in their own right.
Reading challenges are a great way to encourage students to read and to read widely while allowing them autonomy and choice in their book selections. We’d love to hear about any reading challenges you’ve designed for your students to keep them enthusiastic and engaged in reading all year round in 2020. Share your ideas with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!