August 13, 2007

This is the week!

Posted in lesson plans, reading workshops at 4:04 am by mrsmauck

Three days of in-service starts tomorrow with a day of curriculum alignment. I’m pretty sure my brain short-circuited today in the middle of about a million decisions about my classroom procedures, methods, and first days of school.

After slaving all afternoon on my “Outside Reading” handout, informing kids they’ll have to read at least four outside reading books per semester, my brother, who just graduated from high school gave me a harsh reality check: He said his English teacher of the last four years (small school) had the same requirement, and very few students ever read any books. During in-class reading, they’d pretend to read or just sleep, and then patch together a book report from the film version, the back cover plot summary, and/or online plot descriptions. I’m hoping that my scaffolding of this requirement will make things different: help selecting books: mini-lessons on genres, authors, and books, occasional read-alouds to pique interest. However, I’m realizing I need some sort of grade consequences to enforce this four book thing. I’ve got points for in-class reading, bringing the book to class, and weekly reading journals, but no grade mentioned as of yet for number of books read. I suppose a test grade of 100 for each book completed, and a 0 for books not completed? It seems like that would encourage faking completion, though. My brother’s English teacher assigned a highest-possible letter grade based on amount of books read: if you read only 3 books, the highest you can get is a B, 2 = C, etc.



  1. X said,

    I’m glad your brother is there to help you! 🙂 Please be sure to keep us updated on your reading program.

  2. I like your ideas about the point system. Sometimes students need that little push.

  3. To check to make sure they actually read (we did this in one of my english classes several years ago) ask them to, as a part of a final assignment, catalog 5 or 6 of the most powerful quotes from each novel and maybe explain the significance of it (to the student, to the plot, etc;) That way, even Spark Notes could not be an escape!

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