Spark Student Motivation {Summer Reading Programs}

Hi everyone!  It's been a loooooooong time...keeping reading down for an explanation.  I'm doing my best, I promise!

We are down to our last two weeks of school!  Each year I check around for summer reading programs/incentives to copy and send home with my students. I honestly have no idea if they ever follow through and do any of them...but I'm hoping there might be just one kid who does so I keep doing it.  Since my goal is to give students motivation to read over the summer, I am linking up for Joanne's Spark Student Motivation linky party at Head Over Heels for Teaching.

Here's what I have come up with so far.  If you have found others, please leave the links!  I live in Texas, so these places are applicable to my students.

Chuck E. Cheese
These rewards calendars from Chuck E. Cheese are always a favorite, at least it seems that way when I show them!  They actually have all kinds of calendars that kids can fill out and get ten free tokens in return.  They range from reading to brushing your teeth to doing your homework, etc.

Half Price Books
Kids who read at least 300 minutes during the months of June or July can get a $5 coupon to Half Price Books.  

Barnes and Noble
Barnes and Noble has a summer reading program every year.  The kids just have to fill out a reading journal showing that they have read eight books and then they get to choose from the selected free books.

Pizza Hut
Kids that read five books and register with Pizza Hut will have the opportunity to  win prizes such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books and gift cards.

Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn is giving away a free book to kids who read all of the books on one of their book lists.

Public Libraries
Check to see if your public library is offering a summer reading program.  The Houston Public Library is actually giving aware tickets to the circus and the zoo for reading this summer.

Of course Scholastic has its summer reading challenge in which it tracks minutes read.  The school with the most minutes gets a visit from an author I believe.  This year's theme is Reading Under the Stars.  Most of it is done online, but they do have a letter than can be sent home.  My school is not registered, but it does say you can just register your class as well.

Also, don't forget about the one dollar books in the Scholastic Book Club catalogs!  I always get one for each child to send home for the summer as a gift.  If you've racked up points, you can get  bunch for free!  

If you know of any other reading incentives, please share!

So where have I been?  I posted a couple months ago how I was pregnant and dealing with morning (haha) sickness.  Fast forward and long story short, I am now 4 1/2 months pregnant and still dealing.  Only it's not just morning sickness.  I've been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, which basically means the sickness doesn't end after the first trimester like most people. The inability to keep down food and constant vomiting leads to dehydration and severe weight loss.  Most of you haven't actually seen me in person, but I have no weight to lose!  Apparently it only occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies, so lucky me.

But, I have been fortunate enough to have a supportive doctor and excellent insurance.  I've spent the last months receiving home health care.  I had to be on IV's at home for a couple weeks.  But now that's under control.  I have a Zofran pump which I have to carry around with me as it gives me meds 24 hours a day.  Inserting the needle is horrible, but I'm used to it now.  I can still only hold down about ten kinds of food, have good days and bad days, but I am able to go to work now and function.  I am looking forward to the end of school though because getting through the day is about all I can handle.   If anyone has dealt with this, please email me as I'd love to chat!

Wednesday we get to find out the gender of the baby so I know it will all feel a little more real after that.  Super excited!

So with school ending, I'd like to get back to blogging and creating.  Doesn't make that much sense, but I know I'll be more rested and have the time.  
Somehow my blog has almost reached 1,000 followers without me!  So I'd like to start putting together a 1,000 follower celebration to take place as a entry back into blogging and to thank you all for all of your wonderful ideas.  I may not have been in communication over the past couple of months, but I have still been reading and am in awe of all the amazing things going on.

If you'd like to donate a product, please fill out the Google doc here.  Thank you for all your support!


  1. Wow Jessica! I'm so sorry you've had such a difficult time during your pregnancy! This only means your new addition is going to be extra special! :) Congratulations on your milestone! Just donated! And, what a wealth of resources for summer reading incentives! I can't wait to tell my students about all these programs! Thanks so much for sharing and linking up!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. Oh my goodness....I am so sorry that you have been so sick.
    WOW on all the wonderful summer reading programs you have spotted! These resources will come in handy!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Sorry you've had such a tough time.
    These are great resources!
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. You poor thing! Congrats on being pregnant, but I am so sorry you are going through all of this. Can't wait to find out boy or girl for you! Will this go on for the rest of the pregnancy or can it disappear at any time? Love the reading perk list! I definitely have to let my students and parents know about those. I will happily sign up to help you celebrate. Take care my friend!
    Pinkadots Elementary

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  6. I'm so sorry to hear that you've had a tough time with your pregnancy and are not feeling well. That is no fun! I love all of these resource you've shared for summer reading -- so important. I'm looking forward to helping you out with your giveaway! Take care!!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  7. Thank you for all the great ideas for reading incentives! Several of these are in the Columbus area, so I will definitely look into them. I am sorry to hear that you are having a tough pregnancy, but I am glad you are able to get the care you need. Congratulations on 1,000 followers! I am excited to donate a product to help you celebrate!

    Fit to be Fourth

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