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Fall & Winter Professional Development Opportunities

Focus on Reading-

Monitoring Independent Reading:

As the distractions in our world and classrooms become increasingly more complex for young readers, teachers are struggling with ways to monitor and motivate students to read more at home.

Liz Hibbard, a Rapid Run Middle School teacher from the Oak Hills Local School District has implemented this quick and easy visual in her classroom to keep track of her students independent reading activities.

First, she established the following bulletin board which includes posters of the different genres and construction paper strips in different colors placed inside of library card holders.

Next, she had her students create colorful name plates as a display for their genre strips.  When students have finished reading a book, they write the title of the book on the appropriately colored genre strip.   After that, they attach the genre strip to their namecards in the classroom.

The goal is to create a long chain of books using many different genres.

This easy project gives Liz a way to establish how much her students are reading at home, as well as what genres students are drawn into.  When Liz has reading conferences with her students, she uses the data to help them stretch their reading goals.

Liz also incorporates prizes as an incentive for her students when they have met their classroom reading goals.  One example is that students are allowed to host a “book talk” for the classroom choosing one of their favorites from their completed readings.

We welcome idea submissions if you have a great motivator that you are using in your classroom.

E-mail the details to me at