07-31-2009, 05:01 PM
I handle the AR 'stuff' for the 3-5 graders for our school. I teach title reading for that level for the last 3 years. We have been using AR for about 4 years so things have evolved each year.
One thing each of the past 3 years was that I chose a theme. It helped with the hallway display I have in a common hallway to highlight the progress throughout the year.
Construction...used bricks with point levels each child attained at set markers...10 points, 25 points, etc. This was A LOT of work and some inequatities between the points a 3rd grade can get to vs a 5th grader due to the point levels of the books they read. I wasn't too happy with the amount of paper work this theme took.
REach for the stars...I had a point total for each classroom per month. This worked better
Vote for reading ...had classroom point total per quarter, this was the teachers' request. I also had a list of students in each classroom that met their AR goals for the quarter so even though different classes had different goals, students were still recognized.
This year I am going to a do a "Wild about Reading" or something on that order and use a jungle/monkey/safari theme. I will probably do the quarterly classroom point total and a list of students who made goals.
I try to read a book as an introduction to the whole deal along the theme lines. Each month or quarter I have names read on the intercom congratulating the students who have reached goals and give the top 3 point getters per classroom a special 'treat'...pencil, sticker, etc. Everyone who meets their goals gets a bookmark.
My first year I tried sort of a more competitive style of recognition and boy did that raise the hair on the back of some teachers. They didn't want others knowing that their class didn't read. The teachers who encourage AR and monitor their students reading usually show that by having large point totals. Many of the teachers I work with won't even stay in the library and help the kids find their books...they want to head to the lounge. Now I just try to recognize the kids who do the work, not their point totals.
Oh...in my title room, I also monitor and encourage my kids to do their reading.
Good luck...I hope this helps. This is just my take on things.