I have used this and seems to work. Of course, there is no proven way to make sure that they are really reading at home. I send home a note to parents and a sign sheet. I attach a note asking them to please have their child read 20 minutes every night to an adult. They must write what the child has read, amount of time and initial or sign. I check these first thing every morning and give the child a ticket or mark. At the end of the week or when they receive 5 marks, they may get a treat from the jar. I have also used points for each time it is signed.
Book It by Pizza Hut and earn free pizza. Our school requires fifteen minutes reading every night. Adults are allowed to read every other page, if the child has been sick or any good reason. Stickers ----have charts with tiny squares and when they read a book they put up a sticker (there are ususally 16 squares) when they read a book and get 80% on the AR test they put up a sticker. When the chart is full they get a gumball from the gumball machine. Gumball machines are cheap at Dollar Stores. Stock up on gumballs during Halloween time. Get them at Dollar Stores and Wal Mart --cheap.
----Do a total class project books read, when you reach a certain goal have a party. A fun party is Teacher Read Aloud --Stone Soup than make soup in a roaster oven. It smells so good cooking all day. Invite the principal, janitor that cleans your room as a thank you for cleaning for you (be sure the students say thank you also).....
----Watch a video and eat popcorn. Students bring a bottle of water. Before the party Teachers reads aloud a chapter book fifteen minutes each day. Charlottes Web is the best of the best and than watch the video. The Trumpet Swan is also an excellent chapter book
-----Also have a big basket of book marks in the library center. Buy some, make some using clip art and copy on colored paper and laminiate And a packet of sticky notes are also in the basket.
-----After reading so many books they can read and tape a book and take it home and share it with their family.
I have a few, but mind you I've never had 100% participation. Unfortunately, the ones who need to read most usually don't. I send home reading logs but it doesn't guarantee participation.
* Find some way to post books read. In previous years I used Ellis machine cut-outs that worked great. However, the fire department has said I can't hang these so now I use stickers to advertise how many books each child has read. The competitive kids use this as a motivator.
* 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.
* Get them excited about one particular book or set of books. Currently, my fourth graders are excited about reading Magic Tree House books. They're ordering them from Scholastic and borrowing from my classroom library. Later in the year I get the girls interested in Nancy Drew. Last year my boys loved Wayside Stories. Use the silent reading time to organize small groups. I usually get those small groups organized later in the year once I know they are becoming serious readers.
I have my students read at home and parents sign off saying they have read. My children choose the book they are going to bring home every night from the classroom library. The fact that they have choosen their own just right book to read is all the motivation they need! I know I have a different philosphy (and respect others philosophies) but always wonder what are we teaching children when they are rewarded for reading...shouldn't reading be the reward?