Wednesday, January 11, 2012

AR frustration and motivators, help me pick a name!

so I mentioned last week that my kiddos were reminded to choose good-fit AR books during media center checkout time... and they were encouraged to take tests on books that they read, that I read, that other teachers read to them... no brainer, read book.  take test.  get points.  get prizes.  simple enough, right?  WRONG!  We're in the midst of a gingerbread stories study, and so yesterday before we went to the media center we read The Library Gingerbread Man which is oh, so cute!  We get to the media center (and their sweet teacher, me! had rearranged our Tuesday morning schedule so that we have time on the computers to take AR tests, then turn in our books and select new ones, MUCH better imho than getting books on Tuesdays and then taking AR tests the next day during our computer lab time...) get logged on to AR, take our tests, return our books, select two new ones, sit and read quietly our awesome new books while we wait for everyone to finish up, and Miss Dennis checks our scores.... and only 5 of us passed the test.  womp, womp, womp.... I was so sad, frustrated, disappointed... and then I looked at our class points report, seriously??!? 52% passing rate, some kiddos haven't even taken 1 AR test yet this year, some have failed more than they've passed, some have failed them all, are you kidding me????

So being the mean teacher that I am, I highlighted the tests that they didn't pass, had them staple it into their agenda, and make sure that their parents saw how awesome (a few), or so not awesome they've been doing.  ooh, so mean!  I also got advice from the media goddesses (this is my first year in a school that does AR), and we've decided that if they don't pass their test on the books that they've had for a week, they don't get to check out new books, they have to keep those books until they pass the test.  so, so mean!

Yesterday was a bit of a tear-down day (and for good reason, I think), so today was a build-em-back up day.  I didn't have to announce that the computer was on and open for tests, and I heard a lot of "I got a 100!!"  Which was awesome, because I introduced these suckers today:

They took maybe all of fifteen minutes to make, start to finish!  I found a pack of 12 "photo frame buttons" at Hobby Lobby, they look like this before you do anything to them
then  I punched circles out of scrapbook paper, added a little circle label that I formatted in word, quick assembled them, and ta-da!!
I also bought some little craft paper sacks and fancy plastic beads (tropical colored stars and little animals) to be my 100% and non-fiction beads for "bead-azzling" readers' necklaces, totally pinspired.  I'm going to introduce those babies tomorrow, but I'm not crazy about the "bead-azzling" part... reminds me of the fact that I didn't have one.  Any suggestions?  I think "bead readers" sounds like speed readers, and that's not what I want them to be doing with their AR books... "we read for beads" is sort of cute, but that's not why they're reading... blah, my brain is mush right now... help!!

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