What do we all do on January 1st after two months of celebration, eating, and neglecting our fitness routines? You join a fitness challenge! It motivates us, gives us a goal to strive for, and something to commit to. It also gives us a sense of community. Well, it turns out our students could use some of that same motivation when it comes to reading! Especially in the beginning of the school year coming off of summer. That’s why we created the Million Words Read Challenge. And its back by popular demand again this school year!
So how does it work?
Easy! Teachers sign up for a free Read to Lead account and start the challenge by assigning students the online learning games in the platform. Teachers can implement 15-20 minutes of independent reading time (immersive game-play) during the school day in English Language Arts classrooms, Homeroom, or even for homework. As students play, their words read count gets recorded on a leaderboard in real-time where they can track their progress against classes around the nation, inspiring them to climb the board and read more. All students need is a laptop or tablet and an internet connection.
The challenge is all about putting students in-charge of their own learning because when students feel they have agency, achievement follows. In fact, students who play the learning games regularly, are out-performing reading expectations by 60%.
“My favorite moment in using Read to Lead is when a student came in on a Monday after the weekend and said “Mrs. Flanagan, I moved us from 25th to 24th on the leaderboard when I finished the last game! They were playing over the weekend because they wanted to reach Millionaire Status!” – Mrs. Flanagan, Educator, Massachusetts
The learning games are aligned to English Language Arts standards and teachers have access to reporting by standard to know when to differentiate learning. The friendly competition inspires students to strive for individual excellence, but ultimately, they have to work collaboratively as a class to achieve the target goal of one million words read. The collective goal serves to motivate students and push each other to read more words to hit the targets of the challenge.
Bonus – Countless corporations have committed to sponsoring classroom parties and prize packs for classrooms that become “millionaires” and reach 1 million words read – allowing the achievement to be majorly celebrated. And let’s face it – after a year of virtual learning, we could all use a little motivation, celebration, and achievement this year.
Think your class could benefit from participating in the challenge? Learn more about it here!
About Read to Lead
Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!