One little trick that helps encourage students to go the duration is what I call, "MYSTERY READER". Before reading begins I tell students that I am picking a student who I will be doing spot checks on throughout the reading time. I tell them that everytime I glance at this student, he/she needs to be real reading. The trick is to keep this person a mystery until after the reading period is over. That way every student believes it may be them. Kids do love this and respond well. If the student is getting up, playing or just fake reading (we can tell teacher friends, can't we?) I just announce to the class that the mystery reader didn't make it but don't tell them the name. I will go to that person and talk to them individually at another time to coach them on how to make it the next time.
If the mystery reader made it to the finish line (read for the whole duration without stopping), we say they were a great bookworm and will be rewarded with a gummy!
A big bummer for us this year is that we are no longer running Accelerated Reading. I liked the program as a way to keep checks on my readers and to be sure they were understanding what they read. Since that accountability piece is gone I am looking for options for keeping track of the reading they do at home. I have created a Reading Time Sheet for students to start using for part of homework. They will color in the number of minutes they read each night, record the title of the book and write two lines about their reading. Not too much to ask but more than just a parent signature.
I have included this sheet in my TPT store as a Free Download. Feel free to give it a try if you would like.
I'm always on the lookout for other ideas to try. Would love to hear how you monitor home reading with your students!