Saturday, August 18, 2012

Are You Ready for the Reader's Quest?

This summer I participated in the Level Up Book Club. Our first read and Twitter chats inspired two new programs.  Our professional development program, Level Up Tech Quest, which you can read about here. The second idea was a reading program in the style of a game. I noticed that many games mentioned in our first read, Reality is Broken, were quests so I thought Reader's Quest would be a cute name. I started a Google doc to share with the group so that we could all share our ideas and my PLN delivered, as always. These are the current contributors:

Katy @katyvance - Secondary Librarian (6-12) at a Pre-K-12 school
Tamara Cox @coxtl- Middle school (6-8)
Jennifer Northrup @candidlibrarian - Middle school (6-8)
Tiff Whitehead - @librarian_tiff - Middle School (6-8)
Misti Sikes- @mistisikes - Elementary School (PreK-5)
Kristina Thoennes @kamtonnes - Intermediate School (4-6)

We welcome you to go and add your own thoughts and ideas. Special thanks goes to the amazing Tiffany Whitehead for creating this beautiful logo and sharing it with us. You can read about how she is going to use Reader's Quest at her school here.

My motivations for implementing a reading program include helping student set and meet reading goals, encourage reading a variety of genres and types of text, build a community of readers, and recognize reading accomplishments.

This year I'm going to use the program with 6th grade so that I can work out all the details and find out how to manage the additional workload before going school-wide. We will be using Edmodo to create Reader's Quest groups for each 6th grade team. Luckily the 6th grade teachers have already discussed using Edmodo in their classroom so we will be able to integrate this into the normal classroom routine pretty easily.

Students can earn badges to display on their Edmodo profile to indicate the challenges they have completed. Read about Edmodo badges here. You can see Tiff's badges on Flickr. These are the badges I plan to use.

  • Mustang Reader: Write a post sharing the first title you checked out from the library.
  • Summer Reader: Turn in a summer reading log.
  • Fiction Master: Read at least one book from each of the 13 fiction genres in the library.
  • Fiction Ninja: Read at least one book from 6 fiction genres in the library.
  • Nonfiction Master: Read at least one book from each of the 23 nonfiction subject area including biography.
  • Nonfiction Ninja: Read at least one book from 11 nonfiction subject areas.
  • Manga Master: Finish an entire manga series.
  • Review Master: Post at least three book reviews on Edmodo or share a book review on our morning news program.
  • Storyteller Master: Read to our special education students.
  • SC Junior Book Award Master: Read at least 3 SC JBA nominees (our state book award program)
  • SC Junior Book Award Boss: Read all twenty nominees.
  • Recommendation Master: Post at least 5 recommendations on our library displays
  • Secret Reading Missions: Complete challenges that can be found on ELA handouts or hidden in the library.
I have three library displays that allow students to contribute their suggestions.

On "Now That's What I Call Books" students can post their favorite books. It is taped on a door's window.
On the "Recommend A..." poster they can recommend a certain book like a sad book, book with green cover, etc. The full list can be seen here.

On the "Reading Takes You Places" map student put flags on the map indicating the setting for books they read.

I have ideas for the secret reading missions like rereading a childhood favorite and writing a post about it, reading a fiction/nonfiction pairing, carry a book to lunch to share at the table, take a picture of you reading in your favorite place, upload video book reviews, record Smartpen booktalks, and any other activity to reinforce lessons in ELA and the library.

A few other ideas I have to interact with students using Edmodo is to create monthly reading interview videos when teachers, administrators, parents or community members to share their reading lives, favorite books or how reading impacted their life.

I am considering having students set reading goals with me and their ELA teacher. The goals could be pages per week, books per month, time per week, benchmark testing, Lexile or anything the teacher feels they should focus on.

I'm looking forward to sharing the program with the students and seeing how the program affects our students' reading habits. I'll post updates during the year.


  1. LY I began a program where students developed a Reading Plan using Edmodo. After discussion, students' first post included Where and When they've been most successful reading, Why they want to be successful/enthusiatic readers or why they already enjoy reading, and How they plan to find new books to read. I do think it's important that they think about these things before setting personal goals.

  2. Great points. Thanks for sharing. I can use these when helping them create goals this year.