I teach readers ... and there is nothing I am more proud of. Yes, I do "challenge" my students each year - we have a 30 book challenge we take on. Yes, students discuss their reading with a partner during pair-share oral activities after reading ... but there are no lengthy comprehension questions to answer in writing, no log to send home to parents to sign every night. My students are reading because they want to - they love what they are reading and finish their books because they want to, not because they have to. I think the secret to it is that we do find the time to read every day. I dedicate 15 - 20 minutes of my (100 minute) reading block to independent reading each day. Because they are reading every day, they can't help but to get sucked into their books. I think our pair-share at the end of reading really helps too, because students are always hearing about what their friends are reading, and are always adding new books to their mental "must-read" books.
About 3 or 4 times a year, we showcase our love of reading with a project ... okay - you can call it a "book report" if you want. But, the secret is to keep it fun for the students. My kiddos LOVED the Paper Bag Project we do in class, but I did it last year with my students, and because I have half of them again (I teach a split grade), I had to come up with something new. My students have been loving lapbooking in science and social studies, so over our March Break I created a LapBook Report Project, and it was a hit in the classroom! (If any of you have already purchased this product, I have updated it to include a picture of our bulletin board and the template we used to create the face and hand pictures for display. You can download your updated copy on your "my purchases" page).
Students used their independent reading books for this project. The foldables inside focused on character analysis, making connections, inferring, problem/resolution, vocabulary, summarizing, setting, reflection, etc. To display these projects, students had to draw their faces and color their faces and hands. I stapled the faces to the bulletin board and put the lapbooks just underneath. I then stapled their hands over top so it looks like they are holding their projects. My students did such an amazing job on these - I think they are just as proud of them as their teacher is. ;)
Edit: I have also created a nonfiction version of this Lapbook Report Project for informative texts. Just another way to allow for differentiation in your classroom. Click HERE to see the nonfiction version.
Happy, Happy Friday!!! And I hope you all enjoy a lovely Easter Weekend.