First off, let me begin this post by saying I am so sorry it took so long to write. I have been promising and promising and I finally am here with it. So please forgive me.
Secondly, this idea is not originally mine. I got it from another gifted teacher named Terri (who, to my knowledge does not have a blog....though if she ever gets one, you will be the first to know about it!) She so kindly shared this idea two years ago and I ran with it in my classroom. I have tweeked it to fit my needs, and I anticipate you will do the same for your own classroom.
So without further ado....The Reading Olympics.
The basic idea behind this is simple. The students read 20 books at their independent reading level and complete 20 different projects for the books. 1 book = 1 response project The students work at the reading/response projects at their own pace, completing as many as they can before the end of the year.
To organize the projects (and keep with the Olympic theme) there are 4 levels. The first is Olympian, followed by Bronze, Silver, and finally Gold. At each level, there are 5 different projects representing 5 different books. So there are 5 projects for the Olympian level. 5 NEW projects for the Bronze. 5 NEW projects for the Silver level. 5 NEW projects for the Gold level. 20 projects in all. In order to advance to the new level, all projects in the previous level must be completed. (I make sure that they are quality projects, so the kids must earn a standards based score of 3 in order to move on) Here is the first post I made about this topic with some pictures of the kids actual projects.
To start the students off, they each received a record keeping card (that I made on Vista Print last year, but am just going to run off on the copier this year). As the students turned in a project, they recorded it on their record keeping form. I then went back later and input the grade for them. Here is the form for you.
I also sent a letter home to the parents explaining the Reading Olympics, along with the Olympian level of projects. I did also explain this at Back to School Night. The above mentioned Terri wrote this letter, but again, I adapted it to fit my needs (which, again, I expect you will too :) )
So now you are probably wondering about the projects themselves. I thought about what I wanted the students to accomplish, and created projects that would meet those objectives. I didn't want to make the projects so difficult and involved that it would turn off the students, but I also didn't want to make them so easy that the kids could just read the back of the book and get it done. I think the projects I created managed to accomplish this. They worked for my students at my school in my grade level. I realize that this may not work for you and your students, so definitely create projects that work for you!
OK...so here is where it gets a little tricky for what I am going to have you download. You see, I made all of my leveled projects directly on Vista Print. Since I did, there is no way that I can create a doc for you to use BUT I took a screen shot of the brochure for the Olympian and Bronze levels. I have uploaded those for you so that at least you can read how I worded things and go from there. I know there are people who want to start this off from Day 1 in their rooms, so I am going to get this out to you soon. I do not have the Silver or Gold levels available for you to see. They are not scanned onto my computer and, honestly, I just don't think I will have time to put them on. If I ever do, I will create a new post about it.
I also am in the process of creating a "suggested" calendar for my students. I noticed last year that some kids just weren't motivated enough by the prospect of earning medals as they moved through the levels. They needed me to help them organize their project due dates for them. So about midway through the year, I put together some dates for the kids to aim for...and it really helped to get more projects in! When I have mine done, I will post for you so you can see what I did.
So there you have it. The basic idea of the Reading Olympics. What questions do you have for me?