How to Use Custom Reading Badges to Create Super Readers

Here at Reading Rewards, we get a ton of email messages from our young users. If there’s one thing these messages have taught us, it’s that kids love reading badges.

We’ve designed hundreds of badges that kids can earn as they read. But since the appetite for badges seems almost unquenchable, we’ve also given teachers and librarians with Premium and School accounts the ability to create their own badges.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? Marrying our badge feature with the imaginations of teachers yielded amazing results. We’ve seen badges be used in ways we hadn’t even anticipated when we designed the feature.

In this post, we’ll share twelve ways you can use our custom reading badges to turn your students into super readers.

reading badges to start them strong

Start Them Strong

Many of our teachers have discovered that if you get your students started right, they’ll develop  great habits and keep going on their own.

Consider taking a page out of the book of these teachers, and hand out badges to kids for setting up their Reading Rewards account and logging their first minutes of reading.

Reward Them for Meeting Targets

Many teachers award reading badges to students who’ve reached, or even exceeded their weekly, monthly or yearly reading target. You can do the same.

And why not, while you’re at it, use the opportunity to teach a little geography? Do you live in New York City? How about a Chicago badge for kids who’ve read for twelve hours and 17 minutes, the time it takes to get to Chicago? Or a Boston badge for earning 215 miles, the distance between the big Apple and Boston?

reading badges for meeting targets

Create Friendly Competition

Many teachers like to harness the power of friendly competition by giving a badge to the student who’s read the most pages, minutes or books during a given period.

Some teachers put their money where their mouths are by entering the competition themselves. They hand out badges to students who can manage to outread them.

Reward Progress Towards A Goal

If you’ve set somewhat aggressive reading targets for your students, consider also recognizing their efforts on their way to reaching those targets.

Some teachers award badges for hitting the halfway mark, while others define a weekly challenge and offer a badge to students who meet it.

reading badges for making progress towards the goal

Get Them Reading At Home

Teachers have a say in how much reading goes on during school hours. But many of you want to encourage students to read outside of school too. Consider defining badges for reading over the weekend, during long holiday weekends, and during school breaks.

Prevent the Summer Slide

We’re all too aware of the risks of the summer slide. That’s why so many teachers create assignments to encourage students to read over the summer. With custom badges, you can sweeten the pot with cool badges that kids can earn as they finish each book.

reading badges for summer reading

The Teacher Dashboard

Quickly identify your super readers, and those who have made progress, so that you can recognize their efforts with a custom badge.

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Encourage Them to Go Deep

Binging isn’t just for Netflix. Did your students love their first book by a prolific author? Capitalize on that enthusiasm. Offer up badges to kids who’ve read multiple books by the same author or in a specific series.

Promote Reading Consistency

It’s great when kids get wrapped up in a particular book or series and lose themselves in reading for a while. But the long-term benefits of reading depend on consistency. Make reading a habit, with custom reading badges that recognize kids who read every day, or multiple times a week.

reading badges for consistency

Get Them to Explore Different Genres

Sometimes, the only thing that stands between a child and his or her love of reading is finding the right book or genre.

You can play a key role in that process. Use badges to encourage students to explore different genres. Create a different badge per genre — for example a historical fiction badge, a graphic novel badge, a mystery badge. The more genres a child dabbles in, the more badges she can collect.

And here’s a simpler alternative, if you prefer: create a single badge that kids can earn for reading multiple genres.

Raise the Quality of the Books They Read

Sometimes, we’d be willing to let kids read just about anything, as long as they read. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be thrilled if they read higher quality tomes.

Here’s where reading badges can be a huge help. Define badges that kids can earn by reading books of a higher caliber, or which have won a child literary award, like the Newbery Medal.

reading badges for reading award-winning books

Ensure Reading Comprehension

To get the full benefit of reading, kids need to properly distill the information their books contain. Use badges to make sure students understand what they read. Award badges to kids who’ve completed a quiz, left great comments, or  provided the best answer to a question of the week.

Promote Communication

Build up enthusiasm around reading by getting kids talking about the books they love, or by provoking a thoughtful exchange of opinions. To that end, use reading badges to encourage kids to write book reviews, or post entries to your class blog.

reading badges for comunication

Over To You

How about you? Have you been exploring the reading badge feature in your Reading Rewards Premium or School Account? How have you been using them? Do you have any suggestions that we’ve missed? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

About the Author:

Reading Rewards
Reading Rewards is a comprehensive & interactive reading log & reading incentive program that is used worldwide by hundreds of thousands of children, parents, teachers and librarians. Find out more about our reading program.

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