This past week was a fun one as we celebrated our LOVE of reading with Read Across America. The week started out with the announcement of which class would receive the coveted Golden Book. What is the Golden Book you ask?
Well, our school has reading challenges each trimester to encourage reading for the whole school. Each grade level competes against each other in hopes of obtaining the most Accelerated Reader points cumulatively. I am proud to say that my class won the Golden Book because for the month of February! They read a total of 403 AR points! #proudteacher
Reading is BIG for me. The more they read, the better their writing and speaking is! I don’t give a lot of homework, and my class knows that that is in part because I have reading expectations for them!
I hold my kids accountable to earning weekly AR points, in order to meet their trimester goal. Every classroom is different but the goals I have for my 4th graders are:
1st Trimester: 20 Points
2nd Trimester:25 Points
At the beginning of the year, I send my Parent AR Letter Home that shares about the AR goals, gives them their child’s reading level and states my expectations. At Back to School Night I give a little speech about the importance of reading and I restate the letter.
I track my student’s progress on our Data Wall. They climb up the tree as they earn points.
Another way I motivate them on a personal level is with Brag Tags! I spent a lot of my summer making Brag Tags on the computer that would specifically fit my classroom thanks to 5th in the Middle’s DIY powerpoint set. For every 10 AR points they earn, they get a new brag tag.
They wear these tags with such pride!!!
This past month, due to the school-wide reading competition, I started awarding table points for each person who passed a test. For 100% they earned 3 table points, 90%=2 points and 80%=1 point. Talk about a competition! I have never seen kids so eager to take an AR test! I also use my classroom checkbooksclassroom checkbooks to pay them for passing AR tests.
So the motivation is there on many levels, but perhaps the biggest way that I encourage reading is by keeping my classroom up to date and organized. I organize by series, genre and AR Level. I have spent years collecting these books. I have gotten almost all of my biographies of them from Donors Choose, my Magic Treehouse books were all donated by former students. My mom kept a bunch of my old books from childhood and the rest are from spending some good old fashioned money on them at book sales and splurging with my Scholastic Book Points.
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