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Need ideas for "challenge" activities

Mrs. M

Full Member
I had a parent that was concerned that her daughter is bringing home "perfect" work with nothing wrong. I already have her reading in my higher level reading group and we do more vocabulary and comp. activities. Any ideas for challenge activities in regards to either Math or Reading? In Writing I expect the children to challenge themselves so to speak and expand on their ideas.


Senior Member
level books

Leveling books.
www.renlearn.com AR click on quizzes. In the blank type in author or use the arrow button and go to author and type in author. Tells the points the books is worth, grade level and etc.
This an excellent site, also…. http://src.scholastic.com/ecatalog/default.asp?



there is a sizeable list of leveled readers and trade books at www.arliteracymodel.com



All AR books are kept together and other books are together along the other wall. First and Second grade room books are kept in plastic baskets. 3rd , 4th, 5tth, 6th and etc are on shelves. In the reading room K or emergent readers and first, second and third levels are kept in baskets and others on shelves. There are only AR books in the reading room. We have a reading room and reading teacher, she gives extra reading help. This is like a library. Students Star test in the reading room (4 computers) and in their classrooms. All the classrooms have three or four computers. AR dots. Green=1.0 to 1.5, Blue 1.6 to 2.0, Red 2..1 to 2.5, Yellow 2.6 to 3.0, Orange 3.1 to 4.0, I can’t remember until I go back to school the other colors. We use the same colors for all classrooms for that level. Reading room, LD room and classrooms all have the same color for the same level. All books have the wrap around AR label with the book number, level and points it is worth. And the dot is just above this label along the edge, so you can see the level at a quick glance. Use clear shipping tape to cover and protect the labels. And keep the dots from popping off. *****buy the wrap around labels at the AR site. www.renlearn.com 3 ¾ by 1 ½ , click on On Line Store---yellow spot, the green box, next click on reading, next click on AR and go down to the AR Handwritten book labels, Pack of 100……
*******If you have lots of books than divide the levels into more baskets. And this will depend on how many books you have for each subject. Mice, Earth, Birthday, Jobs, Christmas, Filmstrip, Fairy Tales, Curious George, Bears, Eggs, Mystery, Dinosaurs and Monsters, Animals, Cats and Dogs, Holidays, Eric Carle, (Clifford, Amelia Bedilla, Arthur) Birds, Horses, Pond, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Rain forest, and etc….. If you have more questions let me know…. I don’t think there is any right way or wrong way. Just whatever works for you….

* Teach them www.bookadventure.com. Some students love to read the books and then take the bookadventure.com reading comprehension test. It tracks points earned and some kids really like this. If you have an accelerated reader program in your school it works the same way.


Senior Member

I teach 2nd grade. I challenge my higher level readers in much the same way as you. I also expect them to challenge themselves in reading by reading on their grade level during SSR and AR. Reading is easy in that way. I would explain to this parent that I teach small groups and she is in the higher reading group. I would explain that I challenge her during the group time. Also if you do AR I would pull her AR record. See if she is reading books on her level and tell her mom you expect her to challenge herself in that area. Mom can help by making sure she encourages her to do a lot of reading/Ar test taking.
During Math, I challenge my higher level math students in a number of ways.
1. I have independent take it to your seat centers. These are "problem solving" centers. Once the students finish their work from our lesson they are allowed to go get a center. I am teaching a small math group at this time where I give additional help to those that aren't getting it.
2. When teaching my mini lesson if the opportunity presents itself to take it up a notch, even for one or two, I do. I figure by doing this I am reaching those few that are ready for it and exposing those that aren't. For example: The other day we were talking about missing addends. Ex: __ + 3 = 5 the missing addend is 2. I taught the lesson as such. I then took it up a notch saying that we might see it presented like this c+3=5
c=2. Well, I had some students that were really into this and quickly figuring it out. I took it even further. We got into some good stuff. Ex: (x+3) - 5 = 7 x= 9. Well at this point all but two were trying, but not ready. This took an additional 5-7 minutes on my lesson. The benefit: When those two finished their seat work they came to me and asked me to make them some problems to figure out. So I did. A whole page. It was great! THey were excited about it!
3. I have a 3rd grade math book that I will assign them a page to do.
4. I have a problem of the day that involves critical problem solving.
I hope this is helpful. I look forward to seeing what everyone else will say. Good Luck! :)