Here's something I did a few weeks ago with my first grade pull-out group. While it is not earth-shattering, it was a huge hit with my reading intervention group!! Students were busy finishing a Henry and Mudge book, and I was so impressed with how well they were reading independently with their buddies. As I listened in, I was even more impressed with their use of active reading strategies. I was hearing predicting, self-correcting, monitoring, and questioning. YAY!!!
So, one weekend as I was reflecting on these sweet firsties' successes, I got a little idea. I ran to the dollar store and bought birthday party hats. With a sharpie, I wrote Reading Expert on them. The next day, I showed them the hats, praised them explicitly for their amazing reading, and then passed out the hats. It was a reading party!!!! They wore their hats as they finished their reading and were so very proud. One little kiddo asked where mine was! Aww.....
Something so simple seemed to make their day, and it surely made mine! As it turned out, it was a very simple and inexpensive way to motivate, praise, and encourage my hard-working first graders. Here's a picture of a few of them reading on the carpet, but I had to crop their sweet faces:
Please share your ideas for motivating and rewarding students!