Series Reading: Tracking, Rewarding, and Encouraging Literacy (Transcript)
Teacher: All right, put your books away.
Katie: We know that practice makes perfect. Our kids need to read every single night in order to get good and we start them out in first grade. But by fifth grade, they're hitting their targets and they're up to two and a half years above grade level on the STAR reading assessment.
We really found that a lot of our kids going home weren't finishing books. They were, you know, reading one chapter or fake reading and not doing reading logs. So we as a staff decided that we would want all of our students to at least read one series. That's how we started.
Kris: We realized that we needed to make it more incentivized for the students, where they would want to read, where it became like a self motivation thing. And our principal decided that it needed to start young. So we created these charm necklaces, and every time they finish a book series, they get a charm. Those things are like gold to them.
Emmanuel: I really like to read. I would read fifty books a day if I had the time.
Katie: We know that when children finish an entire series written by the same author, that they get to love and know a character. And so we found that they increase comprehension, increase practice in reading and don't waste time staring at a bookshelf.
Kris: When you see my class read, they're engaged in the book. You can see them like be in the story and that's really what we were going for. Then we were like, okay, now are they really understanding what they're reading? That's where Accelerated Reader comes in, AR. They take quizzes on books. They get points, depending on the size of the book and the difficulty of the book.
Nevadisa: We don't use the small box up here, but we use the big boxes. There's twenty of them, and you need twenty points to get a lucky ducky.
Katie: For reading, we offer a lot of incentives. We do lucky duckies if they get twenty points in the month. Then we also have trophies for the class with the most AR points of the month in each grade level.
Braulio: As I said, I had a good view of the stage, and what I saw was quite unexpected.
Katie: Parents are children's first teacher. We need them on our team, we need them to support what we're doing in school. We need them to engage in discussions about what books they're reading, and share that same enthusiasm at home for learning and excitement.
Lorena: To me, the way that I see him is he wants to be the best. Reading, math, AR test, AR points.
Braulio: Reading is one of my favorite subjects in school, and also it helps when some books are so interesting, sometimes I actually feel like that I'm in the book.
Student: She's starting to get the sense that he's just wanting the money and the land.
Klaus: Okay, and then couple that with what? What's going on in her personal life?
Student: In her personal life, her husband just died, so why would she want another husband?
Klaus: So this is good. So when you guys write your own novels, that's the thing that I'm looking for. Can you capture those complexity of emotions?
By the time they get into my classroom in fifth grade, I would probably have guaranteed that they had more hours than anybody in the school district reading books. That allows me to spend less time on fluency and then I can spend more time on the plot in the curriculum, or in the character development, because I'm not losing a lot of time on the basics.
Elaine: Gamen, three point nine, Ruben, four point zero, so you just got a four, good job. Vishnu, ten point eight.
Katie: That's awesome.
Elaine: How are you doing that?
Vishnu: I read these chapter books that give five to six points.
Katie: Our reading is just exponentially more than what it ever was, you know, six years ago. And each year, they keep reading more and it really does improve that overall achievement and fluency before they leave our school.