Saturday, September 7, 2013

Read Beads, Brag Tags, and Giveaways, oh my!

Time to link up with the wonderful Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturday!

After reading "The Book Whisperer" a couple years ago I decided to start requiring my kids to read books from all across the genres throughout the year. I set a high expectation for the number of books kids will read. 25 different chapter books! I ask students to read a certain number of each of the various genres, though I don't require them to read from the horror/thriller/supernatural genre. Students also get 6 student choices in case they really love a particular genre.

One of my opening week activities is to have my kids fill out this Reading Interest Inventory (usually while kids are taking turns doing their first book shopping) to learn a bit about their tastes and habits. 

I especially like to see how many stars they give themselves, and the list of books they wish were in my library is always super helpful when I'm placing my scholastic book club orders!

Students are expected to complete one of these simple little book reviews every time they complete a book, and then they are awarded with a read bead! Last year I left the reviews on display for other kids to look through if they needed a book suggestion. If the summary or something needs to be improved, then the kiddo doesn't get a read bead until they fix it up. (This kiddo needs to be more specific in the genre category, but otherwise did a great job!)

These two forms come bundled in my TpT store for just $1.

This was my board last year. It will look a bit
different this year. The flowers have the kids'
names on them, and were leaves in the Fall
and snowflakes in the winter. 
Read beads are just regular beads, but each bead color represents a different genre. So glow in the dark is for Sci-fi, and yellow is for historical fiction, etc. I typically set up a bulletin board for students to display their bead necklaces. This year I am also implementing brag tags, so students will keep their read beads and brag tags on the same necklace! I also have switch over to a metal beaded "dog tag" type chain because it clasps shut easily.

Kids love collecting the beads and tags! I even made myself a read bead necklace. I made the name brag tags using the template from Diane's (from Fifth in the Middle) TpT store. Grab it here for just a buck!

There are still a couple hours to enter her awesome giveaway by the way! It ends tonight though, so hurry!

And if you haven't heard, my BBB Jivey is having a giveaway too! In celebration of reaching 1,000 followers she is giving away a few (actually, a TON) of her favorite things! I'm excited that one of those things is my Reading Response Journals Pack

Be sure to go over and enter for a chance to win in a bunch of different raffles! Lots of chances to win, not just one! 


  1. I read The Book Whisperer this summer and it made a big impression on me. I love your idea of the book beads and will for sure be using that in my future classroom. How proud your kiddos must be when they add another bead and another color. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I need to do your read beads idea since I won't be doing Reading Olympians this year. Love the idea of keeping the reports for other kids to see.

    Thanks for the shout-out!

    Fifth in the Middle

  3. I love your read beads idea. I have a system to encourage students to read different genres, but I love the idea of having a visual/tangible way to show it. I'm going to try and find a way to integrate that.

    Thank you, and have a great week!

    Fit to be Fourth
    Follow me on Bloglovin

  4. This is great, Nick. I was going to ask if you had a chart to fill in to show their progress in each genre, but I see that your bb display does exactly that. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love this idea. I think it's important to get kids exploring different genres, great work!
    - Melissa
    Teacher Abroad

  6. GASP. September 7... *tap tap* you still alive?? :-P
    Thinkin' about ya!


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