HAPPY NEW YEAR: Resolutions, Reading Conferences, and Reading Month

Reading Month can be fun for everyone with dress-up days, activities, and school-wide incentives.
WOW, where did 2013 go? I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post. I guess getting a new job took longer to get used to than I thought. Oh, and I was named to the Governor's Teacher Cabinet. It was exciting to be a part of recommending changes to our state standards guidelines, but it took A LOT of my fall. I feel like I was not in school a complete week for October, November, and December.


No more excuses! My new year's resolution is to post AT LEAST once a week to this blog.  I have so many things I'd like to share it's silly for me to be so quiet.  (hehe)

Reading Conferences

Definitely excited to announce I am doing several workshops in the new year. I will be teaching a staff development class through my local school system in February. I have had presentation proposals accepted at the North Carolina Reading Association and at the Virginia State Reading Assocation Annual Conferences, both in March. I have also had a proposal accepted and will be presenting at the International Reading Association Annual Conference in New Orleans in May. Ironically, the 4 presentations are on 3 separate topics. That should keep me hopping. I'll do a Running Record Class in February, a Writing for the Emergent Writer presentation at both the NCRA and VSRA in March, and a Vocabulary Lessons for Emergent Readers in May. I'll keep you posted on those presentations.

Reading Month

In our state, reading month is January.  We usually offer many activities for our students.  Here are a few:

Reading Bingo

We handed out a school-wide bingo board this year.  Our students can read books to make a standard bingo (for a treat) OR they can read 25 books in the month for a bingo blackout.  If they turn in a bingo blackout, they can attend a Bingo Party with the principal to win fun prizes.  I also made a bulletin board for the main hallway to show an example of each square.
Reading Month can be fun for everyone with dress-up days, activities, and school-wide incentives.

Click below for a student copy of the Bingo Card.


Dress up for Reading

Reading Jogs the Mind:  Wear a jogging suit.  (You can also do "Reading Exercises Your Brain" and wear exercise clothes.)

Reading Dress Up Day:  Not only can you dress up like your favorite fiction character, we also offered students the option of dressing up to represent a non-fiction book.

Reading Keeps You Warm:  Wear hats, scarves, and gloves while you read (although the gloves might prove difficult).

Hats off to Reading! (Hat Day)

Reading Knocks Your Socks Off (Crazy Sock Day)

PAWSitively Wild About Reading (Wear Animal Prints or shirts with Animals)

Read a Shirt Day (Shirts with Words)

Snuggle Up and Read (wear PJs)

Team Up for Reading (wear sports jerseys)

We "red" all month! (I know it's spelled wrong, think homonyms.)  The whole school wears red on the last day of the month.

Lucky Reader

Our school librarian will pull a name from each class during reading month and the "lucky reader" will get to choose a new book TO KEEP!

Doors for Donuts

We aren't doing this at my school, we have a campus style building with classroom doors leading to the outside, but at a previous school we ran this contest.  The class with the best door won donuts!  We did make sure the doors had student participation (this wasn't a contest among the teachers, but among the students).

Popcorn, Parents, and Poetry

At my previous school, we had a night to highlight poetry.  Because teachers have too much to do already, we needed to keep it simple.  They were asked to do 3 things.  1.  Each grade level chose a poem.  The teachers were asked to practice the poem daily.  2.  The teachers sent home a paper with each child with their name written down the left side of the page.  The students and parents wrote and decorated an acrostic poem using their name.  Any poems returned by the deadline were displayed in the POETRY HALL OF FAME (cafeteria) during our Popcorn, Parents, and Poetry Program.  3.  Turn in the acrostic poems when they came into school.  The night of the program I asked each grade level to come to the stage, one at time, recite their poem and return to their parents.  After all the grades recited their poems, we invited the parents to come get a bag of popcorn while they "toured the POETRY HALL OF FAME."  It was an easy night.  No long practices taking students away from learning (we didn't practice at all, actually).  No crazy expectations of the teachers.  No big set-up (except putting out the poems).  No big clean-up (except sweeping the floor.)

A-Z Monthly Calendar

Another idea for a reading calendar:  Reading A-Z.  Students are given different things to do all month.  Parents can initial the squares to confirm the child did the activity.  Calendars can be turned in at the end of the month for a prize.
Reading Month can be fun for everyone with dress-up days, activities, and school-wide incentives.
Click below for a student copy.

A-Z Reading Calendar 2014

There are definitely more ideas for reading month.  Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.

Thanks for coming back!

See you more often in 2014!


  1. Wow this is great. I am so proud of you. You are sharing your gifts and talents with sooo many. You are changing lives of teachers and children. keep it up Love you Lots.

  2. Thanks, Mom. I get all my teaching talent from you!