Friday, June 15, 2012

The Are Reading Everyhere

The kids really do like to read. Here's some proof. While I shopped in Costco for a few things, Nana stayed with the big kids. This is how I found them.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Reading and Rewards

Thanks for the prodding of some friends and the help of Pinterest and the internet, I created a summer reading plan for our kiddos.

Everyone knows that the summer brain drain is a reality.  Every school puts "READ!" on their sign for the summer, for good reason.

The summer between Kindergarten and 1st grade is the summer where reading really clicked for Rylee.  She is a great reader and loves books.  She entertains herself by reading and can learn about anything she wants because she can pick up a book and read about it!

Jenna and Asa both seem to enjoy reading thus far.  During the end-of-year conferences with their teachers, I was told both of them were early emergent readers who were above level.  I want to encourage them to embrace reading and grow in their skills this summer.  To that end, I implemented a "program" I think is really going to work.

You can jump over and see how my friend Laurie styled hers.  She originally got some of the ideas from this website.  I took bits from each and made up our plan.  I'm not that crafty and didn't care to spend much money on the looks of my system, so it's a little "blah".  But, the kids are eating it up!

We told them about the program on Saturday and they immediately grabbed books and started reading.  They have clamored to read to us since then.  They constantly ask for refresher info about the 'rules' of the program.

So, here's the gist of what we have:
Each kid has a glass container with their name on it.  When they read for 20 minutes, they earn a token to place in their container. Each token is worth one point. (They can earn one per day.  My goal is for them to read daily.  Small daily doses of reading is best for the entire summer.)  We have a list of "prizes" they can earn.  Each prize has a value attached and they can choose how they spend their points.

Our prizes include: dollar prizes from the prize bucket, 5 pts; piece of candy (full size), 6 pts; get an icee, 7 pts; rent a movie of their choosing, 8 pts; get a donut with dad, 9 pts; stay up late one night, 10 pts; get a sno cone, 11 pts; buy a treat at the pool, 12 pts; get a frozen yogurt, 15 pts.

They could choose to get dollar prizes every 5 days all summer, if they want.  Or, they can get late nights every 10 days.  It's up to each of them. Along with encouraging reading, it will teach them how to budget their points.

Since we already have a pass to the local pool, will be going to some dollar movies, and want to do date nights with each of them, we didn't include any of those things as prizes.

So far, it's working great.  They are reading and they are excited.  I love that combo!

End of the School Year stuff

I never posted a few things from the end of the school year.  We have the big kids' science fair projects, the twins' kindergarten graduation, the awards assembly for Rylee, and the last day of school.
 Which M&M color dissolves the fastest? --Asa
 Which liquid expands the most when frozen?  --Jenna
 Which ball will roll the fastest?  --Rylee

 Uncle Jim and Auntie Pam with the grads
 Dustin, an intern with GFA for the month of May, has been living with us.  The kids all adore Dustin and were thrilled that he came to their graduation!

 Rylee received an award for Science.  Jenna received a Science award, as well.  Asa got an award for P.E.  (That should make his Granddaddy proud!)
 Asa has had fun this year with the kids in his class, especially the boys.

 Asa with his teacher.
 Rylee's teachers handed out candy awards to each student.  Rylee received the "Bit-O-Honey" award for being so sweet to everyone.
Jenna with her class.  She had a great first year!

School's out and summer is here.  It was fun to celebrate the school year with special parties, reward days, and awards ceremonies.  I'm very proud of the accomplishments of each of my kiddos this year.  I've watched them all grow in their academics, but I've also enjoyed seeing them grow in character.  Their teachers each loved them very much and I had full confidence that they were not only being taught to read, write, and do math, but also to respect others, be kind, and be part of a group.