Tuesday 13 March 2018

Transforming reluctant readers into bookworms - Read-a-thon

We're 2 weeks away from the end of the Read-a-thon which takes place in the last term every year.

Children read books of their choice and earn points. The points translate into gifts from Mr. Reading Pot - who arrives promptly on Friday afternoons. "Mr. Reading Pot" has a treasure trove of cutsie gifts - pens, erasers, keychains.

At the end of the term, kids who meet a certain points target will go off for an ice cream or pizza party.  Some are rooting for the Anna Library.

All the books are levelled for different reading levels. Children can choose any level they are comfortable with - a 4th grader recently finished "Daddy Long Legs", while a 5th grade ESL felt comfortable reading 5 Level 1 books each day.  An added caveat this year is the "No Screen" requirement. Kids not only have to read, but also have to stay away from any screen - tablet, mobile, computer - else the points for the day are cancelled.  Parents are a key part of this effort - they monitor that the reading is done, signoff on the Book Log and check comprehension.

Reading independently and for pleasure forms a key part of the Al Qamar way.  Children who are readers become independent learners.  The reading translates into improvement in spelling, grammar, imagination, writing ability and empathy.  In one extreme case, an avid reader who spends her entire day reading and only coming for class rarely, cracked the Math & Science Asset exam - simply because she ploughed through the Murderous Math series and probably a whole host of science books.

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