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scateacher scateacher is offline
 
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No More AR..
Old 04-08-2015, 06:27 PM
 
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My school decided to discontinue the AR program for next school year. The schools I've taught at have always had AR or the Scholastic Reading Counts program for the students. If your school doesn't use a similar program like those mentioned above what type of reading incentives does your school offer? I'm just trying to gather ideas so I have suggestions to bring to the table.


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Old 04-08-2015, 06:40 PM
 
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We don't do reading incentives. We used to have AR and what we found was that kids only read books for the point values. IRL we don't read for points, we read for the enjoyment of it and/or to learn new information. Reading a good book is incentive enough IMO!


I don't think anyone misses AR in our district. We used the money from that fund to help add to our book room guided reading book sets.
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Makes Total Sense!
Old 04-08-2015, 07:02 PM
 
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I completely agree with you! I do know that they're steering in the direction of creating an incentive program so I was curious to see what other schools do.
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Hooray!
Old 04-08-2015, 07:12 PM
 
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Hooray for no AR! My administrator doesn't like reading incentive programs, I honestly I agree. I had a unique situation this year because I work at a K-5 charter where 4th and 5th were new this year. I teach 5th. All my students came from other schools. We had a very open discussion at the beginning of the year about what they thought about AR, since most of them had it at their previous schools. Most of them hated it - especially the higher readers! They hated how limiting it was.

Have you read the Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller? It's GOLD. Best book I've read about teaching.

Here's what I do in my classroom, based on Donalyn Miller's type of ideas -
We do the 40 book challenge. There is a LOT of discussion about how this is a personal goal and we are NOT comparing to each other. Each student has a push pin hook on the wall next to their student number. Every time they finish a book, they write the title on an index card and put it on a ring that hangs from the hook. That's how they keep track of their books. I have a ring too - I'm participating in the challenge as well! Above this display, I have a write on/wipe off page protector sleeve with a sheet that says "Our class has read......books." Every time they add a card to their ring, they change the number. We are at 620 something books right now, I think...or possibly more. They also add a sticker to a genre poster I made so we can keep track of genres. Next year, I'm going to implement Donalyn Miller's genre requirements. This was my first year in 5th and at this school, and I can't do everything at once!

We do book clubs (aka lit circles), and the students have choice in books (from a few). I've noticed book clubs really encouraging my kids to read and talk about books.

We ALWAYS have a read aloud going. I read out loud for at least 15 minutes every day. That shared reading experience is crucial.

I do reading letters - the kids write a letter to me every week about what they're reading, and I write back. Sometimes they ask about what I'm reading, too. I'll ask about theme, characterization, plot, etc in these letters as well. I write back to 6 kids a day. At the beginning of the year, these were in notebooks; now I use an ongoing Google doc and they type them on Chromebooks. (Got to get that typing practice in!)

I try to build in lots of book discussion as part of the classroom culture. Kids recommend books to one another, they ask what I'm reading, etc. With 5th graders, it HAS to be accepted by most of their peers for them to buy in - and thankfully that has totally happened this year.

Oh, and I add new books to the classroom library whenever I can. It's expensive sometimes, but it WORKS. My kids are so excited to read new books.

For my strugglers and reluctant kiddos, I really hone in and figure out what makes them tick. I buy books for these kids the most. Recently, I got a bunch of Big Nate books because one of my strugglers EATS them up. I sit with them, talk to them, try to get at what they enjoy.

So, I guess the bottom line is that I try to create a lot of authentic reading experiences for them, and that really does motivate them! Plus, they are more intrinsically motivated, not just reading for the rewards.

Hope that's helpful.
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Yeah! No Incentives!
Old 04-09-2015, 04:13 AM
 
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You have been given a gift. Do everything in your power to persuade your school to not give incentives for reading. Incentives go against everything we know about developing a love for reading. Just the idea that we would bribe children to read makes me sick.


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No ar
Old 04-09-2015, 02:44 PM
 
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and happy......some teachers in our school still use it, but I don't believe in it.
Students need to read what they want to read without worry about if there is a test for it.
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Thanks to All!
Old 04-10-2015, 12:38 PM
 
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I appreciate all of your words of encouragement and wisdom. I started The Book Whisperer this summer, but didn't finish it. I will start re-reading it this weekend. That's a great suggestion! Thanks again!
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Old 04-13-2015, 10:00 AM
 
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I too have read The Book Whisperer. I want to incorporate a lot of her ideas next year. I teach fourth and really want to focus in on the 40 books across the genres aspect of her book. I really want to do the minilesson/free reading/shared reading workshop kind of thing. However, our school (also charter) uses the basal. Now, I don't HAVE to use the basal, but worry about getting everything taught and to the rigor needed for our state testing. I guess if I stick with the basal and they don't do well, I can blame that I used what they gave me....lol. If I go out on my own, then I am too blame. I know this may sound silly, but it is what it is. How exactly do you run your reading program. I also have writing which is also tested in Texas. Therefore, I have two test preps. Any suggestions and or advice would be greatly appreicated. TIA
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