My Beliefs

So, I’ve always been a firm believer in giving students time in class to read.  My heart is sad when I hear that the time to read has been cut drastically ore removed completely from our classrooms.  I am sure there will be people who are reading this that disagree with me, but I’ve seen the results when students are given time in class to read!

My district has always used Renaissance Learning as the platform to keep track of student progress.  Students read their book, then take an AR test on the book to check for understanding.  Some might believe that this is defeating the purpose of creating a love for reading.  I get what you are thinking – I really do!  But, it worked for us.  Maybe it’s because of our kiddos.  Maybe it was the parents.  I’m not sure, but we created readers, and I truly believe we created readers for life.  They loved to read the books, and they also loved to take AR tests and score 4 or 5 out of 5 on the comprehension questions.  


We had many different incentives for our students, from tickets, to 20, 30, 40 point club… but I think this idea motivated my students the most.

But first – let me tell you why I came up with this!  SHA HEARTS!!! First graders don’t always understand the “Do you know what happened in the book” question.  Or “Do you know most of the words in the book” question.  I think they truly think they know… but when they get to the test, they score a 1 or 2 out of five.  WOMP WOMP!

I mean – I’ve had students actually say when asked how they did on their test – “I did good.  I only missed 3.”  K – the test only had 5 questions.

One day I started thinking about the 85% rule – and how we really needed them scoring in that percentage to become fluent readers.  So I made this cute little poster – Yeah, I know – it doesn’t have to be cute to get the job done – BUT… it HAD to be CUTE to hang in my classroom! 

So, if they scored an 85% or higher, they were able to put their picture on the poster.  It was a fun incentive for students to be recognized for their hard work.  Students were not embarrassed if they weren’t on the poster, because not everyone tested every day.  So it wasn’t like anyone was being “called out” – it was just a fun way to recognize the kiddos who “passed” a test.

This really boosted my daily and yearly averages, though.  I guess they all wanted to see their own little picture on our cute little poster!

Here’s what you need:

  • Poster Print
  • Take a picture of your students (I did it with their favorite book and their stuffed animal reading buddy)
  • Print, laminate, and cut them out
  • Use velcro and put on the poster and on the picture
  • We put the pictures in a basket right under the poster