(Photo: Paprika at the Mall, moments after picking out her Lotso Bear!)
On the 4th of July, Paprika (age 5) finished her 100 Book Challenge!
The 100 Book Challenge was a deal we made that if she read me 100 different books outloud, she could go to the Disney store and pick out her very own Lotso Bear.
I am not sure exactly the date that we started the challenge, but I think it was mid-May because that's the last time we were at Disneyland...and she started talking about wanting Lotso Bear after that trip.
Prior to the challenge, Paprika had been a very reluctant and not a confident reader. I wanted her to get comfortable reading, and so that's why I decided to incentivize her a bit. I chose some books that were easy for her (to build confidence) and some books that were challenging (to build skill).
I let her choose many of the books, but I had to be careful to make sure they were "in range" for her reading abilities. I didn't want her to get discouraged by choosing books that were too far over level. By the same token, I didn't want her picking books that were "too easy" just to add up more books read. So, I cleared out a bunch of books and made available books that I knew she would enjoy reading outloud.
I made a little list that we call Secret Chart - basically, it's a list that I hide in our secret hiding place (the top of her closet) when we're not reading. It's "secret" so that Ginger doesn't take it and destroy it! ;-)
I always read a few stories to her every night at bedtime (we just don't count those on the list). And she would be reading me stories anyway. But this just sort of got her excited about reading, so that she was pushing herself to read more than I was pushing her.
I had figured we might finish this weekend, but on Wednesday (July 4th), she was only 6 books from finishing, so she decided to power through and go get Lotso on the holiday!
We had originally planned to take her to Disneyland to get Lotso, but because it's summer and soooo hot and crowded there, we opted for the Disney Store. She was so excited about that. She's been to Disneyland one hundred times, but this was her very first trip to the Disney Store! She was beyond excited...I think even more so than if she'd gone to Disneyland. Ha!
When we got to the store, we wanted to include Ginger but didn't want to overshadow Paprika's accomplishment. Paprika really wanted Ginger to get something, too, so we ended up getting Ginger a cute Little Mermaid sippy cup. Both the girls were dancing on clouds when we left - all for a little bear and a sippy cup.
Paprika was so proud of herself. I know that when she looks at that Bear, she feels very proud of herself and how far she has come.
She started out an insecure reader before the challenge. In the past almost two months, she has become quite confident and she really enjoys reading. Her fluency has improved so much, and she has started reading books just for fun to Ginger and Violet.
The funny thing is that I think she began to enjoy the challenge even more than me. When we were at the Disney Store, she saw this nightgown that she really wanted (from the movie Brave) - and when we got home, she asked if we could do Secret Chart again to earn that nightgown.
So, now we have a new Secret Chart to start! Except this time, I am mixing it up. We are going to still keep reading outloud for fun (obviously) - but I want her to work on her writing/penmanship skills. So, this secret chart will be about writing books. Paprika has always loved writing her own stories. So, she has decided to write 50 books (written and illustrated)- and once she completes that, she can go get a Brave nightgown.
She actually wanted to write 100 books, but that seemed a little over the top, considering it takes a lot of work for her to write and illustrate each book. I want it to be fun and the right length of time.
I figured 50 books is going to be enough of a challenge for now...especially because she really takes her time writing her books. I will do a post on that later (how we make the books) - it's quite easy and super fun. She's been writing books on her own since last summer, so this is just a way to get her excited about working on her writing skills and using her creative mind to illustrate her stories.
Here are a few videos of her reading on the last day of the challenge. These videos are mostly for the grandparents (Haha!) - they are a little long, but so precious to me. If you watch them, you can hear Paprika reading in her "voices" - it seriously cracks me up!
Here she is reading Book #100 - Are You My Mother?:
Reading Frog and Toad, Cookies:
Reading Frog and Toad, Dragons and Giants:
Reading Mouse Tales - Very Tall Mouse and Very Short Mouse:
So, that's it! I am so proud of Paprika and so happy that she has developed such a love of reading...one that hopefully we can continue to nurture in her as she grows. I hope her newfound confidence in reading helps her in school, especially as she starts Kindergarten this fall! :-)