This week I kicked off the Punch Card Reading Challenge with the 3rd through 5th graders. The students were excited about the program and the prizes that they will get to earn. I have gotten some fantastic prizes from community partners, and these will be used to encourage students to:
- Return their books on time and check out something new;
- Display appropriate classroom behavior; and
- Read outside their comfort zone
For returning their books on time and checking out something new (a sneaky way to improve circulation!), students will “earn” small prizes such as ice cream/free kids meal coupons, gift certificates for free games of laser tag, and Rainforest Cafe temporary tattoos and slap bands.
For displaying appropriate classroom behavior, students will earn raffle tickets towards the weekly drawings. I don’t tell students when raffle tickets will be handed out, or for what specific behavior, so hopefully students will try to stay on good behavior at all times! Today, for example, I gave out raffle tickets while 3rd graders worked on their Powtoon presentations…but only to those who stayed on task. The kids who didn’t get any during my first walk-around quickly wised up and got to work, in hopes that I’d be generous and give them a raffle ticket during my second walk-through (I was).
The main way students earn raffle tickets is for reading outside their comfort zone, i.e. for reading a genre that is on the punch card. For accountability and assessment purposes, before I punch anyone’s card, they have to fill out a reading response card. On the front of the card, they simply write their name, their teacher’s name, the title and author of the book, and the genre. On the back of the card, they are asked to write at least 3 complete sentences about their book. To help students figure out what to write, I’ve included writing prompts for both fiction and non-fiction that they can use.
Here’s a quick look at what prizes will be given out and when:
WEEK 1 – Intro to Punch Card Challenge (3-5th grades)
WEEK 2 – Review directions! Rainforest Cafe tattoos
WEEK 4 – Drawing: Coldstone $5 gift certs (x 4)
WEEK 2 – Drawing: Coldstone ice cream cakes (x 2)
WEEK 5 – Grand Prize Drawing: Classic Lanes Bowling Parties for 10 (x2)
Hopefully this program will be fun for the kids and motivate them to add more diversity to their reading. And hopefully it won’t take too much extra time to run in addition to everything else that is going on in the media center in February and March!