First, I'm going to need my students to work hard to develop an at-home reading habit. I want to provide them with a variety of choices for the way they will track and report their reading so that they will own the whole process, from the selection of their books/texts to the development of the habit, to the tracking and reporting. So far, the menu of options include
- daily writing on paper (Typically this has been a M-Th assignment that is handed in on F, but why not let the students decide what the cycle will be? Maybe they do most of their reading on the weekend, so it makes sense to do it Th-Su and hand it in M? Or they have sports and lessons so they can best complete the work on M, W, Th, Su, or some other combination.)
- responding digitally on a Google form (The form I developed has their name, title/author of their book, a genre drop-down menu, and a place to write a reflection. The student would submit their thinking four times a week. This choice would also allow for weekend reading.)
- weekly letter (This could be handwritten or typed and would summarize and synthesize a week's worth of reading. Students could determine on what day of the week they would agree to hand in their letter.)
- blogging (Hmm...I guess if I'm going to offer this as an option, I just made my mind up about KidBlog!)
Here is the same chart with the benefit of 10 extra minutes a day factored in. Check out those gains for the low- to mid-level readers:
For more information about cues, routines and rewards, this is a great book:
I'm only about halfway through the book, listening to the audio version as I drive to and from school. Duhigg's explanation of how cues, routines, and rewards work, and his amazing examples from individuals' lives to huge corporations are understandable, entertaining, and compelling.