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Mrs. McClair Constructs New Reading Challenge for Eighth Grade Students

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Getting students involved and interested in reading, especially on their own and for fun, is a hard task all schools to try to tackle. Mrs. McClair, eighth grade English teacher at PRHS, has come up with a new and different way to engage her students. After looking around online, Mrs. McClair got inspiration from different reading games she found on Pinterest. “There are cool reading challenges that have checklists, so I just kind of took the idea and made my own checklist: read one book that was published 100 years ago; read one book that someone else recommended; read a book you own but have not read yet; read a book set in a country you have never been to, and so on.” She says, “Each student reads for his/her “personal best,” but then the class will tally up points [at the end of the year] based on how many categories the class fulfilled. The goal of the reading challenge is to have more students read for fun while they improve their reading skill and branch out to new genres. By coming up with creative topics, the students are more likely to pick up a book that they would not normally read.

To get more inside information, we interviewed several of the eighth grader students who are taking part in the challenge. Sabrina Sheridan shared her experience, “I think that this is a great opportunity to reach out to different types of books that I wouldn’t originally think to read by following the certain challenges she presents to us. It’s a good chance to pick up different books I had not heard of originally while learning more about myself and what I find interesting.” As Mrs. McClair had intended with the design of the challenge, the eighth grade students have expressed interest in new genres. Another student, Isabel Cariño, agreed with Sabrina. When asked if this challenge helped to broaden her interest in different genres she said, “Yes, I usually tend to gravitate more towards realistic fiction but now that I’ve gotten more into reading, I gravitate more towards romance and science fiction.” Nicole Larghi, another eighth grade student participating in the challenge also credited the experience with helping her expand her interest in new genres. When asked about it she said she has  “started reading more nonfiction books than [she] used to.” After talking to the eighth grade students, it is clear this challenge is helping them explore new genres while at the same time encouraging them to read more. The challenge Mrs. McClair presented to the students has given them to opportunity broaden their horizons and learn more about themselves as a reader.

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Mrs. McClair Constructs New Reading Challenge for Eighth Grade Students