40 Book Challenge            

Dear Parents,

In my classroom, I encourage a love of reading.  I want my students to WANT to read, rather than think they HAVE to read.  We will be reading and learning together for the next nine months.  It is during this time, that your child will be asked to read 40 books.  Don’t let the number scare you! Be excited to know that your child will easily accomplish this goal by June 1st! J I know this will be a rewarding experience that will take both effort and determination.  Please take a look below at some very important information regarding this challenge.

What can my student read?

Students can select EVERY book they read for the 40 book challenge.  I will be there for help and guidance, but the book selection will belong to the students.  These books should be “just right books” and be at or above each student’s reading level.  I do not want students selecting books that are extremely easy simply to “add” books to their lists.  For students who are reading lengthier books, any book that is over 200 pages, counts as 1 book. Each additional 100 pages is another book.  I want this to be a challenging and rewarding experience that helps each child grow as a reader.  As research shows, the best way to grow as a reader is to read as much as possible!

When should my child read?

Students will be reading independently for about 1/3 of our reading class time.  This equates to about 20 minutes of in-class reading, each day.  I will be conferring with individuals and small groups during this time.  I will also be asking the students to, voluntarily, take some time to read each night.  About 20-30 minutes each night makes a huge difference!  Reading on the bus, while waiting for a ride, before and after practices, before and after school, extra time in other classes, before bed, and during any “down” time is encouraged!!! Students will NOT be asked to write down how many minutes of reading they are doing at home.  Again, I want students to WANT to read, rather than think they HAVE to read!  If students aren’t reading at home, it will show in school work and in their lack of reading progression.

  • All required grade-level standards will be taught in both whole group and small group lessons.  Most of the small group lessons will be taught using each child’s chosen book

How will the books be tracked?

Students will keep a log of books in their Composition Notebooks at school.  For each book, students will record the title, author, genre, date started, date finished, rating, and how or why they chose the book.

Students will also be tracking the number of books they read from each genre.  This is simply to provide a picture of the type of books they are reading.  Remember, there is no genre requirement, but I will encourage them to try various books from various genres.  Individual student progress will be discussed during weekly 1-on-1 conferences.

Where will my child get the books to read?

Our classroom is FILLED with a wide range of books, at various levels, that students will be allowed to check out and bring home.  Students will be taken to the library each week and provided with the opportunity to check out books from there as well.  Most importantly, if a child is reading and enjoying something from home, I want him or her to bring that book to school each day and continue to read it!

How can I help at home?

Encourage your child to read!!! Celebrate the successes your child is making throughout the challenge.  Remind your child to read at home as much as possible.  Read along with your child!  Buy your child books, magazines, and other reading materials he or she has shown interest in.  Bring your child to the library to check out books.  Frequently ask your child where he or she is at in the challenge.  It’s also fun to discuss the books your child is reading (favorite parts, setting, plot, dislikes, comparisons to the movie version, etc.)

I know this seems like a challenging requirement, but remember, most of this will be done at school!  It’s also important to realize, this is how the required grade-level standards are being taught...through the books the students are reading.  Think of how rewarding this will be for your child!  Many adults don’t read 40 books in a year and we will watch our children do this in nine months!  My goal is to develop a love of reading, build confidence, and to help my students read because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to!

Thank you,

Mrs. Schumann