I think we can all use a little motivation this time of year -- especially our students!
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that our school uses the Accelerated Reader system to monitor independent reading. I think AR is a good way to keep track of student reading and to make sure students are understanding what they read. If their TOPS report (the score of their AR quiz) comes back with low scores for comprehension, it's definitely time to get together with that student for some extra conferencing.
The AR system is set up for students to earn a certain number of "points" in a given time period. (Each book is assigned a point level and when students take a quiz on a book, they earn a proportional number of points based on their score.) This is one of the things that I do not like about AR. When students read, they get fixated on earning "points." Points do not make someone a better reader...To become a better reader, you need to read a lot, so I feel tracking Word Count Totals is a better way to go.
Each week, I publish a "Word Count Wizards" list that shares the top five readers in our classroom based on their Word Count total as measured by AR. Seeing their name on the list (or wanting their name on the list) is incredibly motivating!
Then every month, the 4th grade teachers host a pizza lunch for the top two Word Count Wizards in our classrooms. We gather together to eat pizza, chips and cookies. (Unhealthy, I know, but also motivating for some students who want to enjoy junk food at school).
This past Thursday, we hosted our pizza lunch for November's winners. Both of the students from my class read over 200,000 words each in November. (Impressive, since many students' word count goal is about 150,000 words for the quarter!)
I'm headed over to Joanne's blog to see what other inspirations await! Meet me there!!
(But before you go, don't forget to come back Sunday to link up and share a Peek at My Week -- my weekly linky party where you can share the highlights of your upcoming week. There's plenty of motivation here as well! :)