Some Background Info:
In 2003 Renaissance Learning changed how they
recommend setting goals with students for AR.
The recommendations as well as the capabilities of
the software allowed us to bring consistency to how
AR is used within the building.
Establishing AR and this goal-setting strategy gave us
another literacy assessment tool.
My goal is for AR to work as a reading incentive
program that encourages reading practice and
How is AR run at Sycamore?
1. Teachers use the STAR reading test at the
beginning of the year to set the student’s
GE (Grade Equivalent) score.
2. Teachers use the GE score and a goal-
setting chart to guide them in
establishing the student’s ZPD (Zone of
Proximal Development, the reading level
at which a child will be challenged to
grow but not discouraged because of
3. At the start of each marking period
teachers meet with students individually to
set the following goals:
Minimum Average Percent Correct is the percentage of
comprehension (or understanding) they should have about
the materials they are reading, usually the goal is 85%
The Point Goal is based on the students’ reading level and
how much time they have for daily reading practice.
Minimum Average Book Level Goal ensures that students
stay reading within their appropriate level, with enough of a
challenge to encourage growth but also a level were they
will be successful.
4. Then teachers or the librarian enter the
goals into Accelerated Reader.
5. Accelerated Reader keeps track of the
students’ progress towards these goals.
6. Accelerated Reader provides a number of
different reports that teachers can use to
evaluate students’ success and
recognize areas that need attention.
7. The librarian uses reports to track
students’ point and reward levels as well
as track classroom point totals.
Marking Period Goals Party:
At the end of each marking period the librarian has a reward
party for all the students who achieved their Average Percent
Correct, Points and Book Level goals for the marking period.
This way students are being recognized and rewarded for doing
their personal best.
Point Level Prizes:
As students reach certain point totals they are given prizes.
These prizes are awarded during each class’s library time
throughout the week. This encourages students to be happy
for each other’s success and motivated to work together as a
team for classroom success. (The chart follows on the next screen.)
Point Prize Chart:
1st/ 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade
Prize Points Points Points
Eraser 2 3 4
Bouncy Ball 4 6 8
Bookmark 6 9 12
Flying Frog 8 12 16
Put together jet 10 15 20
Name in Drawing 12 18 24
Pencil & Notebook 16 21 28
Critter Ball 20 24 32
Surprise Prize 24 27 36
Pen 28 30 40
Key Chain 32 36 44
Treasure Box 36 42 48
Video Rental 40 48 56
Goody Bag 44 54 64
Lunch with Mrs. Lattin 48 60 72
Kick Ball 54 66 80
AR STAR!! 60 75 90
“The look on their faces when their names are called to receive a prize
is priceless to me. Another wonderful benefit is the cooperation and
camaraderie that has developed among the reading community in my
room. The students are working together and cheering on one
another’s successes. Higher readers are mentoring those that struggle
as they all strive for our classroom goals. The friendly competition with
the older classes in our building has made my young readers confident
and motivated. My students LOVE to read!! I contribute a lot of that
attitude of success to the A.R. program.” Mrs. Steere, 2nd Grade teacher
A.R. Family Nights:
These are two hour events where students can come with their
parents and read books together, listen to a storyteller, and then
take AR tests. It has become a popular event and works as a
great activity to pair up with the book fair.
• At the end of the year the students who have
reached the AR Star level get T-Shirts and
their picture in the community newspaper.
“Last year we had 19 AR STARS, 13 Boys and 6 Girls. As of March 15,
we already have 20 students who have reached or are close to
reaching STAR level.”
During the end of the year assembly Top
Reader Awards are given to students who:
Earn the most points in the year
Show the most improvement during the year
The class with the most points for the year.
“Currently I have three classes with over 1000 points for
their classroom total and two other classes not far behind.
Typically the class with the most points isn’t the one that
has a few individual students carrying the whole class. It is
the class that displays the best teamwork as each student
encourages the other students in the class to participate
and where stronger readers pair with struggling readers to
help them be successful.” said Mrs. Cox
Thanks to your support 1100 additional tests were purchased and
the students are enjoying the larger range of AR books available to
them. Also, because of your support, students and parents are
able to search AR test information from home with the web-based
service, QuizList Interactive. This service interfaces the AR test
information with my MARC record information which allows the
students to search the library books and test information
simultaneously with all the records being as up to date as possible.
Accelerated Reader is the main reading incentive program used
and monitored by the library and therefore the students interact
with it on a regular and continual basis. Your support filled in the
gap we had and now the program will run smoothly for many years
to come. Thank you for your generous contribution to the readers
at Sycamore Elementary School.