“Kids On KidLit has been inspiring!” says Jennie Hann, the reading resource teacher at Cambridge Heights Elementary. “I fell into using your
blog, Kids On KidLit, as a part of a school wide contest our librarian put on.
ever class posts the most book reviews on Patricia Newman’s website will win a gold pan full of Mrs. Baker’s homemade chocolate chip cookies.’
could resist? It certainly wasn’t me.
told our students that on top of the chance to win the cookies, each entry put
their name in the drawing for a free book that Ms. Newman is offering. The kids
couldn’t resist this double incentive.
So on we went…reading and writing…only this time, there was a spark in their eyes. Some of
my most reluctant readers were finishing their book (actually enjoying
it) and looking back to remember details to add to their review. A few kids
submitted multiple book reviews so they had a better chance of winning. The days
we checked the website to see their name on a famous author’s website was amazing. The kids giggled and pointed when they saw their own
review PUBLISHED with THEIR name, THEIR age, and a picture of THEIR book with
THEIR words in a book review THEY wrote.
I didn’t imagine that it would make that much
In addition to the selfish pride of seeing their own reviews, some of
them would look at each other’s reviews and comment, ‘Oh, that sounds like a good book I
might like to read next.’ What a great way to hear about other stories!
Then to see
one of the student’s name listed as the winner of the free book drawing, was
powerful. As we were gathered around one class computer, a student reached past
me enthusiastically pointing and wiggling at the winner’s name. ‘That’s you!
That’s you, Nick!’ You’d think they won the lottery!
here is where I learned a big lesson. Mistakenly, I tried to refocus these
enthusiastic kids back to a reading lesson when all they wanted to do was
write. Well, I guess that’s why teachers have to be flexible. Needless to say, we postponed
the lesson that day so they could all sit down and write about the next
book. I don’t think I’ll think of them reluctant writers any more.
Know that YOU make a difference!