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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rewards for Reading

Do you read with your child?

Do you reward your child for reading?

At school, my kids participate in an accelerated reading (AR) program that encourages them to read so many minutes a night. They are encouraged to take tests on AR books and earn points towards the ultimate goal.

The AR grand prize varies from school to school. Oldest isn't sure what hers is and to tell you the truth neither am I. She reads all the time and often gets in trouble for reading when she shouldn't be.

She will, no doubt, be going to her AR event.

Middle daughter likes to read, but not nearly as much as oldest. It is sometimes a little more challenging to get her to comply. Sometimes my husband reads to her and this counts towards her AR goal.

She records her minutes nightly on a reading log that needs to be turned into her teacher every Monday.

Third graders need to read 100 minutes a week to meet their AR goal. I'm not sure if Middle G has attained this goal or not. However, Little G. has.

That's right. My kindergartner is going to the AR event, as are all of the kindergartners, because they read and achieve a much lower goal as a classroom. I'm not really sure how I feel about this. Little G. is just barely reading. Middle G. has tried her best to maintain this goal but as of yet I'm not sure she has.

What's the big deal? What's the AR Event?--A day trip to the State Planetarium on June 1st.

Should I let her brother attend even if she deserves to go more?

How do you feel about rewarding kids like this for reading? And do you think those who haven't read the required amount of minutes should be left behind?

5 random thoughts:

Anonymous said...

thats a tough one....rewards are good, but should be fair.....not an easy call.

Dan said...

It never really came up with the son. We read together so much when he was small and he so desperately wanted to read for himself that he was already reading on a 5th grade level by kindergarten. Needless to say, he still reads at least a novel a week.

So rewards would have made no difference here. Probably the vagaries of the draw. Good luck in having it work out in the coming years.

Jenners said...

Like your funky cool background!

I'm all for getting kids to read any way you can but I don't think you can FORCE it or the whole thing will backfire.

Hard call ... I would just have all of them go.

septembermom said...

I'm not sure how to call this one either. I do think that each child is at a certain point in their exploration of reading. The younger ones are just getting their feet wet as readers. It think it's okay to "reward" their reading efforts even it they are not huge reading enthusiasts yet. Hopefully, all kids will see the true rewards of reading as they continue to grow and learn. I don't reward my kids for reading, but I do let them know that I think it's a "cool" thing to do. However, my 13 year old has fallen off the reading wagon lately. I have to get him back on track without him knowing that I'm trying hard. Motherhood, isn't it fun?

Becca said...

That is a tough one!!!

When we had AR programs in school, we weren't required to read. We would read what we want and take little quizzes to achieve points. They had little prizes and gifts we could get for our points. It was to encourage our reading but it was never forced upon us. I don't think it is right that they will leave kids behind that don't achieve their goals!

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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