Jeannie Votypka, Ph.D., is a professor of literacy at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. Prior to joining Baldwin Wallace, she taught primary reading for 16 years. She created PREP within her reading classrooms to solve the problem of her students not reading at home. She is passionate about the program because it creates excitement around reading while building confidence in students' academic, social and emotional lives.
PREP motivates young children to read daily, using book choice, contingent rewards and family engagement to set young children on a successful path of life-long reading.
Materials provided in your PREP Kit:
Hand out the PREP Tote Bags for your students. Each tote should contain a pocket folder that holds a reading log with the student's name on it. This tote will also hold the weekly book students take home to keep.
Find a good place in your classroom to display the Progress Tracking Chart on the wall. Write your students' names on the chart in preparation for earning stickers.
MORE ABOUT PROGRESS TRACKING BELOW
Display books once per week for students to choose from. Make sure books are displayed with the face of the book facing forward. Research shows that 90% of students will pick up a book when displayed with the cover showing!
Prepare the Scratch-off Reward Cards for your students. Write a reading-related reward on the blank area of the card and cover it with a scratch-off sticker.
MORE ABOUT CONTINGENT REWARDS BELOW
When I first began as a reading specialist, I would offer token rewards such as little toys or candies. The students enjoyed these prizes, but they did little to encourage more reading. After researching reward-based reading and combining it with my own trial and error, I discovered that contingent rewards encourage an intrinsic motivation to read. So I adapted Scratch-off Reward Cards to reveal reading-related rewards, and the kids loved it! Contingent rewards motivate children to on a daily basis. This consistent reading practice has a great impact on primary students' academic achievement, not only in reading but in all subjects. In the PREP program, for each book read, students get a sticker they place next to their name on the Progress Tracking Chart. Once a student earns five stickers, they may select a Scratch-off Reward Card to reveal their reading-related reward. Here are some examples to get you started: Read to the Principal, Read With the Teacher, Read to the Class, Read With a Buddy, Read Outside, Read With a Flashlight, Read an eBook, Play a Reading Game, Bring Your Favorite Book From Home.
Not only is the Progress Tracking Chart is a constant reminder for students to read, it is a quick visual way for students and teachers to keep track of just how much they are reading. Students love to see the row next to their name fill up with stickers! Stickers are earned by reading books in class and at home. Once a student earns five stickers, they earn a contingent reward. In addition to the Progress Tracking Chart, each student is given a Reading Log to be signed by the child's parent or guardian after they read together at home. A Reading Log full of signatures is a sign that your student is reading.
Many families struggle to find time to support their child's literacy development. PREP overcomes this challenge by motivating students to make reading a part of their household's daily routine. Parents are reading more frequently with students, and families are directly involved in supporting their child's literacy development. PREP encourages daily reading together and provides easy-to-use materials for parents and caregivers to encourage and help their young readers succeed. Each student is given a Reading Log to be signed by the child's parent or guardian after they read together at home.