Building Stamina

One of my biggest struggles is how to build kids stamina!!!!   I know, I know...its a simple quick fix. The problem is that it isn't quick at all. I have such a hard time finding time to have sustained quiet reading in my school {which is jam packed with tons of things that have to be done between 8-4}. I know schools out there have "this" time and "that" time built in, but I don't {and I don't have the freedom to change that anytime in the future}. So...... in an effort to increase student reading time and getting them inspired to read' I created "Stamina Strips". 

Each student receives a strip for every 15 minutes of sustained, silent, focused, independent reading {mouth full}. I do have benchmark prizes for reaching a certain amount of hours. 

Here are the increments that I award something for:

  • 30 minutes (2 chain links)- they got an eraser...and every kiddo got this prize the first day because it is important to give a tangible reward right when they start to get the "buy in" from our students. At this point I had them ALL hooked.
  • 1 hour (4 chain links)- Pencil
  • 2 hours (8 chain links)- Piece of Candy
  • 4 hours (16 chain links)-Snack 
  • 5 hours (20 chain links)- Notepad
  • 10 hours (40 chain links)- Soda (I know what you're thinking, but they are all fighting off their daydreams and nod-offs to get one!) 

Let me end by saying this...I did this with the 14 kiddos that attended extended school year (Summer School) and they started with only being able to read for 5 minutes....up to 45 minutes of focused quiet reading!!!!