August 13, 2003
I taught at a middle school with very low level readers. We had a 20 minute SSR period every day. It was a struggle to take hold with both teachers and students. So, I decided to issue a challenge to my students. They thrived on challenges, especially when I was a participant, and I allowed them to set the 'stakes' of this challenge. I challenged them both collectively and individually to read a certain amount of books per quarter, adjusted according to their levels. They challenged me to read their favorite books, many of which I had never read. Each student listed his/ her favorite book, and I was to read at least 5 a quarter (in a 20 student class). There were rewards or consequences for achieving or not achieving the assigned goals. It did help my students and a few other teachers did similar things in their rooms.