After labeling the books with shiny gold stickers, I brought the designated students up to my teaching table and spread the books out in front of them. I explained that these were brand new books just for them to read as long as they agreed to write a blog post at the end of each chapter. Immediately, their eyes lit up.
Everyday after lunch, the 60 students in my ILS come in and read silently a book of choice for 10-15 minutes. The students in my 'red bin' reading group (simply named after the bin that the books are stored in) came racing in ready to read.
Surprisingly, this morning three girls came in (all at different times) before school and asked to complete their Chapter 1 blog post. I was shocked that during their before school free time these students were choosing to blog instead of play with their friends.
Now, I just have to make sure the excitement remains! I'm hoping to find some more books to add to my special collection. Also, I am curious to see if reading and commenting on the blogs of the others in the group will spark dialogic conversations among the students and increase interest for reading other books in the collection as the year goes on.