Read Across America Week

This year I was finally ready to make Read Across America Week a school wide event!  I've always loved this day/week while in the classroom, but hadn't planned a school wide event as an instructional coach the past two year. Not anymore!

I am Type A personality and a natural planner. I started planning for this week two weeks in advance and started prepping my teachers just as early. Here are a few things we did throughout the week.

 Each day students and staff were encouraged to dress up corresponding to a Dr. Seuss book (red handout). I scheduled guest readers to read to our classes throughout the week, I found it easier to schedule this way instead of on one particular day. Each class filled out a thank you card for their reader to go with a goody bag I made. 

Our morning announcements are provided by our students on the morning news, so this week we played book BINGO. I created 24 different BINGO boards and passed them out to each class. On the morning news the students drew two books, and classes marked off the books. Friday morning we still didn't have a BINGO so the kids pulled books until a class called down with a BINGO. The winning class won a popcorn party during their Read-A-Thon. 

Our school implements a PBIS like model and students earn Patriot Dollars for demonstrating leadership. To encourage students to read during our Read-A-Thon on Friday I provided teachers with special blue cat in the hat patriot dollars. 
(I will share more about our Read-A-Thon further in this post.)

As you enter our school we have a pretty large lobby. I asked my principal if I could decorate it, I actually said can I go big or go home. :)  She said go for it and that was all I needed to create my own Seussville.

Half way through the green hills I had that thought of "what was I thinking", but loved how the lobby turned out. Everyone was sad to see it come down at the end of the week, darn fire marshals. :)

I held a bulletin board contest for teachers this week, and our guest readers were are judges because prizes were involved. I loved seeing the Seuss theme throughout the entire building!

The First place winner choose the $10 TpT gift card, second place choose the cold stone gift card, and third place won the duty free recess pass.

Monday was Fox in Sox day! I made these shirts for my admin and I.
Tuesday was "Who-ville" day, aka crazy hair day. I had wanted to get hidden rainbow hair this spring, but thought why not now for Seuss week!  I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and plan on keeping it for awhile.
We are on a A/B week schedule for our enhancements. Students go to Library or computer lab depending on the week. I wanted them to experience a fun activity tied to Seuss so I hijacked the computer lab and library by setting up a Seuss Mystery. I used the following blog post as my inspiration. Our students LOVED it!  The students were telling everyone about the crime scene mystery they solved!

Through out the week we invited parents, central service people, and maintenance workers from the district to come read to our kids. I wanted a lot of positive male role models for our boys, especially for reading. They see our maintenance workers often and I felt it was important for them to help show students that reading can be fun. We are a 3-5 school so I scheduled majority of our male readers with 4th and 5th grade classes.

Friday was pajama day and our school wide Read-A-Thon!  I took inspiration from my girls Joanne at Head over Heels for Teaching and Amelia from Where the Wild Things Learn.  I provided the teachers with a schedule, asked students to bring in flashlights, sunglasses/silly glasses, blankets or beach towels, and snacks.

The first 30 minutes was for Flashlight Reading.

At the first break I asked teacher to read a chapter from any book and then choose one student who would like to continue to read it silently during the next 30 minutes of reading.

The last two reading sessions teachers were encouraged to take their students outside, or use a link I sent them for a fire or beach scene on the smartboard.

During the Read-A-Thon teachers passed out the blue Patriot dollars to students who were on task. Students wrote their names and teachers names on the back and turned them in at the end of the Read-A-Thon. I then went on the school news and pulled seven blue Patriot dollars out of the bin for the students to win a brand new book. ALL names drawn were 5th grade BOYS!!!  
I think having all those positive male readers for them paid off! :)

As an instructional coach you don't see your hard work reflected back as much as you do as a classroom teacher. During this week my heart was FULL! Friday morning when I saw all the students coming in with their pjs, blankets, flashlights, sunglasses, and snacks my heart felt like it was going to explode!  All our children were excited for a morning of reading. Walking through the classrooms and seeing over 500 students reading is one of the best feelings in the world.


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