Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Peek at My Week {11-23-13}

Happy weekend-before-Thanksgiving and welcome back for another edition of  A Peek at My Week!  Like many of you, I am counting down the minutes until Thursday because this will be our first break from school since we began in early September.  It's been a long time coming and I am going to cherish every moment!
I'm not sure about the weather where you live, but here in Wisconsin, I think winter has arrived.  We have already had our first snow (thankfully now melted) and I think it was a high of 20 degrees today.  Brrr..... Makes me want to sit in front of the fire with a nice mug of hot cocoa and a blanket.  I think my pup Rosie had the right idea this morning when she found a spot of sun to warm herself.
We only have three days of school this week so it is going to be a short one.  I'm excited to announce that a student in my class is about to meet the 40 Book Reading Challenge.  (Read at least 40 books in a variety of genres)  How did my students become so motivated to read lately?  I have to honestly say that I think it is because of my new TpT product, Reading Genre Tags.

After reading Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer, I knew the book challenge was something I wanted to try.  Last year, I rolled out the program and had students record their reading on a chart in their reading folder.  How did it go???  Terribly.  Students either lost their recording sheet or forgot all about the challenge so it was a big FLOP.

This year, I got smarter!

I created a sticker chart for the challenge and posted the challenge chart on the board.  When a student would finish a book in a particular genre (and pass the AR test with a score of 80 or higher), he or she would fill out their challenge chart and we would put a sticker in that category on the sticker chart.  This made my students' reading more visual and public -- easier to keep track of.  How did it go this time???  A little better, but still not great.

Enter my new  Reading Genre Tags that I just posted to my TpT store.

Now when a student has read a book, they record it on their challenge sheet, we put a sticker on the challenge chart, AND they get a genre tag to wear on a necklace around their neck every day.  How did is it going now???  FABULOUSLY!!!  :)  :)  :)

My students love the Genre Tags and compete with each other to see who can earn more or certain kinds.  They are loving independent reading time, reading longer than required at home every night, and are so excited every time they are given a new tag. (There is a different tag for each of the 40 books.)

So this week we will celebrate the first student to meet the Reading Genre Challenge!  What an accomplishment for this young lady!!

Want a chance to win your own set of my Reading Challenge Genre Tags?  Enter the Rafflecopter below by Friday.  The winner will be announced on next weekend's Peek at my Week so be sure to check back to see if you are a winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Before I go, I want to announce the winner of my Native American Museum product --  Christin W of Shifting Teacher K-2!!  Congratulations Christin!  Check your email!

(BTW -- Thank you to all of you who pinned my new product....But please be sure to check that you are not a "no reply blogger" because your email was not attached to your comment.  Many of you were....)

So now it's your turn to link up and give us a Peek at your mini-Week.

But before I go, I want to wish you all a very blessed Thanksgiving!  I am very fortunate to be surrounded by so much and I am very thankful for all of it!  Thank you for being a part of that.  :)


  1. I LOVE your genre tags. Next year I might try them out. My younger students would love the challenge. I love your dog Rosie, too. Thanks for sharing and have a happy Thanksgiving! Heather

  2. I have to say I'm not very good at getting my kids to read across the genres! Hopefully I can win your tags and have a new way to doing so next year!!! They are awesome.
    I'll be back later to link up my week.

    The E-Z Class

  3. Our librarian has a genre challenge that our kiddos are able to win prizes for. In our district, they gave us Wednesday off this year. Wednesday couldn't come to soon. Everyone needs a break. It's hunting season, our boys sat out in 9 degree weather here in Wisconsin today. I myself warmed up with some hot chocolate. Love your weekly peeks!

    Renee at Science School Yard

  4. I love this idea! Like you, I tried the 40 Book Challenge last year and it was a dismal failure...students lost their logs, or forgot entirely, I forgot to push it simply lost gas after less than a month. This might be just the ticket to help keep us aware and motivated!

  5. Hi Jennifer. As always, I love your blog and your products. A fellow blogger just pointed out to me yesterday that I was a "no-reply" blogger. I tried to fix it so I hope it worked. I know what you mean about the cold - I had to get out my Land's End coat today = winter is here.

  6. Great idea I hope I win I would like to try this.

  7. I have, thus far, been unsuccessful in getting my kids to read across genres....they are stuck in the same genres all the time. I am going to try the genre tags to see if I can get the kind of motivation to read across genres that you describe! Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love your Reading Genre Tags! What a great idea!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  9. I fell in love with The Book Whisperer too, when I read it this summer. I've always had a challenge for my students, but never set a goal. This year, I set the goal of 25 books across 9 genres. At conferences a couple of weeks ago, several students said they were close to finishing the challenge. Wow! You know it feels good when you see success with something you're trying. Brag tags are a great way for kids to show their accomplishments - and they can be a great conversation starter about genres or specific books!

  10. I am trying to think how to fit those tags into our Read 180 reading. They look so cute! My kids are still excited about stickers, so they would probably love them.

  11. I love your genre tags idea. These look great!
    Thank you for offering a chance to win!


  12. What a fun week!! Your dog is so cute!! I love how you reflected on something that didn't work, and created such a wonderful idea! Great job!

  13. Hi Jennifer. Thanks for letting me know I fixed my no-reply status. The way I get my kids to consider other genres is to do read-alouds with all different types of books - that usually piques their interest.


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