I love Accelerated Reader as an incentive program for rewarding reading in the classroom. Our school offers a “Point Store” to students where they can “buy” little toys for their points, but this only happens about once a quarter. I noticed that the Point Store reward was not immediate enough to be an incentive to my resistant readers, so I looked and looked for a classroom reward system that would be hands-off for me and short-term enough to motivate my kids.
In order for the students to take ownership, I knew it would have to be on a bulletin board. My only concern was posting and rewarding a “number of points.” You and I both know as teachers that one student reading 10 points takes just as much, or more, effort than another student reading 30 points. I really wanted to reward effort and progress, not point totals. I always allow Renaissance Learning to generate the points goals for my kids, since their company bases the goals on years of compiled research (a little more scientific than my method... ahem...), which means they have goals based on their STAR score. So, I came up with the idea to reward progress toward their goal in the form of PERCENTAGES. I made a bulletin board with pockets and incentives for each 10 percentage point jump toward their goals. A student who is half way to his goal of 30 points and a student who is half way to his goal of 15 points are both in the same pocket getting the same reward. Yay!
Students are required to check their progress, move their sticks, and put the reward cards in a bucket on my desk – no card, no reward. On Fridays, I print off the Goal Report from Renaissance Learning and compare it to the week before. I write the goal card(s) they turned in with a check and any cards they COULD have gotten (if it were in the bucket) with a star. Then I announce and distribute the rewards. It only takes about 5 min and is a great weekly reminder of the importance of reading on a regular basis.
The following rewards are on the cards provided. There are an abundance of great ideas on the web. I've kept this document editable, so just mix and match what works best for you. They are formatted for Avery Business Cards, but by the end of the year, I was just printing out on plain cardstock. :)
10% Reading Club – book mark (Oriental Trading)
20% Reading Club – bubble gum
30% Reading Club – pencil (Oriental Trading)
40% Reading Club – piece of candy
50% Reading Club – choice of Book Nook
60% Reading Club – sit in a rolly chair for the day
70% Reading Club – popsicles
80% Reading Club – FREE Pizza
90% Reading Club – Brag Tag
100% Reading Club
This reward program has been a real game-changer in my classroom. My two lowest readers BOTH made their AR goal for the FIRST time this last grading period. After tons of encouragement, they took ownership of their goal! I can’t explain the look on their faces when they came forward to classroom applause to accept their 100% Reading Club card a few Fridays ago. They were so proud of themselves, because they knew they had accomplished this goal on their own.
BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE FONTS: "KRISTEN ITC" AND "KG MISS KINDERGARTEN" IN ORDER FOR THE DOCUMENT FOR FORMAT CORRECTLY.
Go to my blog to read more about each reward: www.growingthirdgraders.blogspot.com.
Growing Third Graders - Lori Sullivan