Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Accelerated Reader

After a few months into my teaching career I started noticing that my students were lacking in the READING area. Although I am the Science teacher, I still encourage students to read daily!!! I asked the media specialist and the reading teacher at my school about Accelerated Reader and found out my school doesn't put emphasis into the program. Motivation for the students would have to come from within the classroom, which is different from ALL my field experiences/student teaching. Anyways, I needed to come up with something QUICK to get my students on the READING TRAIN.

The first thing I did was implemented a DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time for the last 15 minutes of our day. Not only do I have students reading, but I have time to get last minute papers signed and returned to go home.

The SECOND thing I did was make this poster. I wrote all my students names down and put a little square to write their points. I got the poster laminated and hung it up in my room. I update the points weekly and move the star post-it notes to the high ranking students. So that was a little motivation for my kids, a friendly competition. HOWEVER, that was NOT enough. So I thought back to one of my experiences and remembered a teacher had brown paper bags with each students name on it hanging above their heads on the ceiling. As students reached AR goals they received the prize that was in their bags! The contents were a SECRET and not to be shared with those who had not made their goals!

So here is what I came up with, since my ceilings are too high for me to reach, I tacked them above our board. (This is only half of the bags.) When students reach goals they receive the prizes and are to keep it a secret. The first prize was a sucker, bookmark, and pencil. The second prize is free cheesy bread from Little Caesars, a pack of gum, and a McDonald's toy.
To keep track of what "bag" the student is on, I just simply put a tally mark on the bottom as I hang it back up.

This was definitely the motivation that MOST of my students needed to get those points up!


  1. i like this idea. i wish i could get prizes for reading.. haha me & gina would be racking up (:

  2. Katie, that is very true! I would NEVER get any prizes!

    What are you doing May 6?

  3. I love the bag idea! That's a great motivation! I only teach math and social studies, but do understand just how important reading is for every SUBJECT. Our librarian does a great job of motivating the kids and has a cool bulletin board to track everyone's progress. Sadly, with budget cuts for next year, we'll only have a 1/2-day librarian (a different one) every other week next school year. I doubt she'll have time to put too much effort into AR. I think I may use your idea! Thanks!

  4. I always have the highest A.R. points in my school, BUT there I'll tell you why...I take the A.R. tests TOO! I compete with the kids and this is a HUGE motivator for them. I put a chart up on my SMART board at least once a week with the the highest points for the "WHOLE" year and the number of words they have read. They are constantly trying to knock me out of the spot I'm in. It works!!!!
    My school also does something called the Millionaire's Club. Students who read one million words get to dress up like a millionaire at the end of the year and they have a fancy lunch in the cafeteria. Some of the students will win a prize of a gift card to our local bookstore. It really helps getting every one motivated to read, read, read! The media specialist also takes a picture of each "millionaire" and places it on her Wall of Fame in the Library.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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