The first school I taught at had a marvelous reading specialist, Miss Giometti. She was instrumental in shaping who I am as a teacher! One of her shining programs at our school was her May kick-off “Race into Reading”. Race into Reading was a month-long event of the classes “racing” against each other to see who could read the most books. The kids wrote their books on paper links and we strung them around the classrooms and the hallways.
Yes, it was incredible! In my first year teaching, my 7th grade class won the Race into Reading. Yes, the reluctant middle schoolers who “hated” reading won! What can I say? I was 22 years old and full of energy. I motivated the apathy out of those kids!
The culminating event of Race into Reading was in the final week of May. It was an exhausting, but exhiliarting series of in school presentations from Chicago’s best museums, authors, illustrators, puppeteers, performers, mad scientists, and basically every magical sideshow of happiness you can imagine.
I’m sad to say that this lovely school has been closed now for some time. Truly heartbreaking. I’ve never seen anything like it in any school since. Maybe this can motivate some of you to do the same!
This summer reading idea pays homage to one of my earliest mentors in education. The racing portion of this program was a phenomenal motivator for the kids. In lieu of papers links, I thought “sneakers” would be a fun update to the reading tracking system. You could shrink these images to make them smaller using the print setup option and use them for bulletin boards, or have the kids color them to differentiate them!
Whether you run a summer school program or have your kiddos at home this summer-start your own race into reading this summer!
I begin summer “funschool” with my sons this week, so I will share some photos over at Instagram!
I made two versions of the sneakers to accomodate all readers: one for kiddos who read picture books and one for kids who are into chapter books.
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p.s. We also have a fun reading motivation system I used in my 1st and 2nd grade classrooms,
The Bookworm Club! Perfect for back to school, and loaded with fun and motivating ideas!
Stay connected with us at The Classroom Creative:Now, race into reading!Nicolette
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