One of the things that I did this year that really worked was "Reading Clubs". I decided that there were not enough hours in the day and I was willing to work during my lunch period to motivate and encourage the love of reading. But how many students would want to give up their recess once a week??? Surprisingly, the majority of my students wanted to do this!! In fact, they would become quite disappointed when I couldn't meet with them for one reason or another. And now they are asking me to tell the fourth grade teachers about it!!
Here's how I set it up. I have a total of 47 students between my two reading classes So I divided them into four groups. Each group selected a name for their club (Challengers, Discovery I, Discovery II, and Endeavors ... can you tell I have a space theme going on in my room) The clubs nominated and voted for President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. From the very beginning, I stressed that this was not graded... we were simply having fun with reading. Club members could earn points for attendance and cooperation. The Secretary kept track of those points and the Treasurer passed out rewards. The President and Vice-President led all meetings and I was their advisory board.
Two of the clubs usually worked in small groups on reading projects or literature circles. Two of the groups usually played reading games. The clubs were so popular that they spilled over into study hall!
At the end of the year, we celebrated with a party that the clubs organized. What fun!
Next year I will not be teaching reading, but I still plan on having Reading Clubs for my homeroom. I hope you give it a try.