Tips and Teaching Notes

Suggested plan for a Low stress - High success Challenge

Tips

Our dedicated teacher-librarians and teachers have provided practical suggestions for coordinating the Challenge that may assist you in your school.

Please email your tips and suggestions for the Premier's Reading Challenge to the PRC Team

Encouraging students to participate in the Challenge:

Getting reluctant readers started:

  • Classroom teachers/ teacher-librarians can introduce some of the PRC books in class lessons and units of work to give students a taste of success
  • In high school, subject teachers can introduce different PRC books as part of their planned units of work. Check which books in the school book room are on the PRC booklist
  • In pairs students can explore aspects of visual literacy in picture books and both students can include the book on their Student Reading Record
  • Pair tentative readers with one another for shared reading of PRC books
  • Make a list for reluctant readers e.g. Hot reads for cool readers choose accessible picture books and thinner or popular less demanding books especially humour, sport, factual texts and biographies. High schools can display titles that are on both the 7-9 and 5-6 booklists

Keeping up the enthusiasm:

  • Student reviews of books, recommending them to other like-minded readers can be kept as a resource in the library/classroom or displayed on the wall. The book's PRC ID number can be added in a star shape
  • Schools can reward individual achievement in-house:
    • Recognise students who have read 5 or 10 books or present a school award when students first complete the Challenge
    • Students stand in assembly and are applauded for their efforts
    • Student's photo can be displayed on a special board
    • Student can place a small star next to their name on a chart when they have read 5 books and another, or a larger star, when they have read 10
    • Schools can encourage participation in the Challenge as being part of the community of readers, a member of a huge book club
    • Students can colour one square on graph paper display when each book is read showing the mass of books read for the Challenge by all the readers in the school
    • Student's book reviews can be published in the school newsletter with a short report on the school's progress in the Challenge
    • Organise a sausage sizzle for Year 8 and 9 participants as an incentive to keep going and achieve the Challenge or their gold certificate
    • Recognise students with in-school rewards who read beyond the Challenge after 1 September or read more than the minimum number of books
  • Book talk, set aside a short period for a student to present a PRC book to the class
  • Invite authors and illustrators to visit the school
  • Devise fun activities and quizzes about books read for the Challenge
  • Have a dress up day with students dressed as their favourite book character from the PRC booklists
  • Display a school list of great reads

Including all students:

  • Students, e.g. ESL students, who are experiencing difficulty reading the books with appropriate content for their maturity level, can listen to an audio version while reading along with the book. Teachers experiencing difficulty finding resources for these students should contact the PRC team
  • Teachers of students who are experiencing difficulty because books appropriate to their maturity level are on lower lists e.g. with a disability that affects their development, should contact the PRC team to make arrangements to include these students in the program
  • Students with special needs may employ the same strategies they need to use to access materials appropriate to their Stage level to access their reading for the PRC, including books in Braille, enlarged print, audio books, assistance from "buddies" and teachers' aides. Again, teachers experiencing difficulty finding resources for these students should contact the PRC team
  • Students with learning difficulties can use the extra time from 1 September to March to start on the reading for their next year's Challenge

Involving parents in the Challenge:

  • Parents of younger students and students who experience difficulty can assist their child to enter their student reading record, adding books as their child experiences or reads them. State school students can access their own record using their DET username and password. Non-government school students can access their record using their individual PRC username and password supplied by the Challenge organisers via their school's PRC coordinator.
  • Launch the Challenge publicly, e.g. at a community picnic where parents supply a picnic lunch, tea and everyone brings their favourite book to talk about. Community guests can also be invited
  • Include information and regular updates in the school newsletter
  • Promote the Challenge through school open days and nights
  • Include the Challenge in promotional material e.g. transition packs and orientation packs
  • Encourage parents to join students up at their local public library and visit regularly to select books
  • Inform parents that the Challenge, as well as helping students discover a love of reading as a leisure time activity, also helps to develop essential learning habits: being organised, meeting deadlines, being accountable, taking responsibility for their reading, valuing regular reading
  • Include literacy activities on Grandparents or special person days. Involve guests in sharing books from the Challenge lists
  • Use the school's Home Reading Program to encourage parents to support the Challenge and monitor their child's progress during the year
  • Use high school students' participation in the Premier's Reading Challenge to demonstrate to parents how well the student is achieving wide reading outcomes
  • As well as reading the books in a home reading program, encourage the students complete their PRC student reading record as part of their homework using their DET or PRC username and password. Parents with computers in the home can assist Kż2 students to do this

Finding and spreading the resources:

  • Encourage students to bring in PRC books from home to share with the class. Books can be kept in a crate with a "borrowing" book to record loans. Students can write their name in their book and reclaim the book after one term or the life of the Challenge or they can donate the books to the class library
  • Place different coloured stickers on PRC books on the shelves to indicate which Challenge they are from or place the books in a separate display to help students locate them
  • Display booklists as published in The Sun-Herald on library/classroom walls
  • In the library, keep several copies of each PRC booklist with different coloured covers indicating the Challenge level
  • Place a list of series books from the PRC booklists on display
  • Develop links with the local public library through an excursion
  • Display some of the PRC books thematically for short periods of time in the library and/or in the classrooms e.g. Mothers' Day, books about the sea, favourite books from boys or girls in one class. Link to special activities and days in the school calendar e.g. science and environmental days
  • Keep a small pile of PRC books labelled with their PRCID number where people have to wait - in the office waiting area, in the sick bay

Administering the Challenge:

  • Have a team of coordinators under one leader e.g. the classroom teachers working with the school's teacher-librarian. Encourage classroom teachers to be responsible for the students in their class
  • Encourage students to enter their own online reading records at school or at home
  • Have regular school PRC updates in the school newsletter: provide information on privacy, conditions of entry, deadlines and celebrate successful students
  • When only a few students are doing the Challenge in the school, approve a responsible parent to be a coordinator. Information can go out in the school newsletter and responses can be placed in a box in the school office for the coordinator to collect
  • Senior students, e.g. Year 5 or Year 10 can help coordinate the Challenge as part of a community service program. Senior students or parent helpers can assist with all aspects of the program
  • Incorporate the Challenge into existing reading practices e.g. homework, literacy groups, DEAR, home reading program

Online entries:

  • If they have a computer available, students can enter their books at home using their own username and passwords. Usernames and passwords are allocated when they register for non-government school students
  • Provide a computer in the library at specific times, e.g. during certain lunch-times, so that students know when they can enter their online Student Reading Record at school if students are not entering records at home
  • Have library monitors assist younger students entering online reading records at lunchtime
  • Buddy older students with students in Years K-2 to assist them with online reading records. Teachers who have done this have heard lots of wonderful conversations between older and younger students discussing their books, including the intricacies of the plots and their favourite characters
  • Classroom teachers can allow students to use time, e.g. when they have finished other work, to enter their own online records
  • Have an IT lesson on online forms and data entry using the students' online Student Reading Record for practical experience
  • When students have similar reading records, the classroom teacher or teacher-librarian can enter one student's books read or experienced and copy that entry to other students
  • Have parents assist with online entries, e.g. a helper could supervise students entering their online records in class or enter younger students' records for them

Ways to know students have read the books:

  • Many schools treat the program as an individual, home-reading program and only require the students to submit their entry
  • Other schools build home-school partnerships by using personal reading logs and having the parents sign the log when students have finished reading the books or asking parents to initial next to each book as it is read. The personal reading log on this website can be customised for this purpose
  • When the Challenge is embedded in school programs, teachers may require a "proof of reading". There are many imaginative ways teachers can devise for students to prove they have read a book:
    • student declaration, students sign a statement saying the Challenge has been all their own work and they have read all the books listed
    • short interview to discuss each book as it is read
    • sharing information about the book with a buddy
    • producing a written book review
    • activity based on the text, e.g. talking or writing about a favourite character or what might have happened after the story finished; an explanation of the student's choice for another title for the story; a summary of the story from one character's point of view or that character's diary entries
    • class publication of students' response to books they are reading for the Challenge

Beyond the Challenge:

  • Display information about signing up for a Holiday Reading Program at the local public library over the end of year holiday
  • Combine PRC reading with other reading programs such as MS Readathon
  • After completing the official Challenge, have students set their own Challenge for a school award e.g. reading ten books by a newly discovered author or twenty books from the science fiction category
  • Encourage students to keep reading after the Challenge, e.g. recording their reading in a personal reading diary. Have set awards for each milestone, e.g. bookmark after first personal Challenge and badge after next. Can be done with all the students or specifically with students previously identified as reluctant readers
  • Enthusiastic Year 10 students could be encouraged to start their own local school book club or join one specially designed for their age group. Their local public library would support them in this venture