My school district opted out of using Accelerated Reader several years ago. Since then, my middle school has tried to implement different strategies to motivate students to continue to read. We just began implementing our own version of Battle of the Books 2 years ago, and we have it 3 times per year; once after each trimester.
Each grade level requires students to read a certain number of books and fill out a graphic organizer for each. My seventh grade students were famous for waiting until the last minute, so I implemented weekly page goals. I began using it second trimester of the 2014-2015 school year. It has increased most of my students’ reading volume and helped many of them avoid the last minute stress of trying to read for Battle of the Books.
I hand out page goals every Thursday, and collect them the following Thursday; then they get a new set of goals. I require regular education students to read 100 pages minimum per week. I expect students to be able to read about 20 pages per night for 5 nights out of 7. If students or parents ask, this goal can be lowered to accommodate student need. I do not consider extra curricular activities to be a good reason. BUT, I have had students and parents express concern that the goal is too much, so I will adjust it if there is a genuine need. I do expect the goal to grow gradually over time.
My accelerated reading students are expected to read 30 pages per night for a total of 150 pages per week. Students are always welcome to read more than I ask, but they will be penalized if they do not reach their goal.
Students can read the pages as quickly or slowly as they want to. Some kids get it done in 2 days over the weekend. As long as the pages are read, they can do it however is easiest for them.
I require a parent signature to help with honesty and to give parents a glimpse at what their child is doing. I realize that this assignment is dependent upon honesty and that not all kids will tell the truth. However, I don’t make the assignment worth a lot of points and I hope that parents are encouraging the honesty at home.
I make each weekly page goal worth 10 points and it goes into the category of reading response, which is worth about 30% of their grade.
I divide total pages read by the goal to get the percentage and then subtract points for other things.
*I will take 1-3 points off if there isn’t a written response, there are fewer sentences than required, or if the spelling and grammar are noticeably bad.
*I take 1 point off if the parent signature is missing.
*I take 1 point off if the student does not record what he or she read and where they started and ended.
Most students average 7-10 points per assignment.
Page goals should be adjusted based on the age and reading ability of the students. Since I’m the one initialing the assignment, it is really easy to lower goals if necessary and no one but the student and I know.
Motivating Readers: Weekly Page Goals by Susan Peckworth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.