This year I was the gifted intervention specialist for 4th grade gifted reading in a new district. I pulled kids out of their regular literacy block and taught them reading. I knew I would use the 40 Book Challenge again, but would need to adjust it for 4th grade, but also for gifted readers. Since it was 4th grade, I lowered the number of pages that equaled a book. I changed it to 100 pages. However, I kept the 40 book number the same. I also kept the same chart that Donalyn Miller provides in her book. The response from kids and parents was enthusiastic and positive. The kids started right away! After the first quarter, I had the kids reflect over their reading. I posted those results here: http://hollymueller.blogspot.com/2012/10/40-book-invitation-update.html
On Friday, which is the last day I would be with my students (they'll still be in school next week, but will be participating in field trips, field day, chorus performances, and awards ceremonies), we celebrated our reading totals. It was a beautiful day, so we enjoyed the sunshine, treats, and swinging on the swing set. I hadn't actually swung on a swing set in ages, and I laughed out loud with the kids. Priceless! No one can worry about state test scores, common core adaptation, and negative teacher images (or anything else for that matter) when you're swinging on a swing set in the spring sunshine surrounded by laughing 4th graders!
I admit I had a little dyslexia there - the total is actually 416. Oops!
They couldn't resist a silly picture!
GRAND TOTAL FOR 43 STUDENTS: 2,635
AVERAGE # OF BOOKS PER STUDENT: 61
Next year I will be moving up with this crew to the intermediate building and will be teaching 5th and 6th grade gifted ELA, which is also a pull-out program. I've already asked this group if they think we should increase the challenge to 50 books. I may also increase the number of pages that count for a book - maybe 120 or 150? They want me to make the challenge for 6th graders 60 books! One student said it was a good thing I wouldn't be teaching them when they're 10th graders or they would be challenged to read 100 books. Ha! I sure hope someone DOES challenge them to that, though, don't you?!