Friday, March 28, 2014

Ideas to Motivate Your Readers ~ Inexpensive Accelerated Reader Prizes

Welcome back to the Café!
Stay with me a minute, I do have some good prize incentive ideas for AR I want to share, but first please let me tell you a little about my week.
I'm so glad Friday is finally here. Anybody with me? What a busy week, and just let me say it's been really CrAzY! What should've been a 3 1/2 day week for students was turned into a whole week because of the snow days in January. And I really missed my teacher workday today. :-(
 I can barely find the bottom of my desk right now! Is it just me, or is everybody else super-organized during this time of the school year?
We took an exciting field trip this week 1 1/2 hours away, and on the way back home one of our activity buses decided to break down. Parents were picking up their kids at 4:30 and we didn't roll back on campus until 5:45! Hanging out in a gas station parking lot for an hour {waiting for a local bus garage worker to fix the bus} with a busload of first graders wasn't how I planned to spend the afternoon--AFTER touring the museum that day. Whew! 
The kids were champs, though, and they ended up earning 2 cupcakes for our Cupcake Compliment incentive {1 from a parent's compliment at the museum and the other from me for being such troopers on the l-o-n-g ride home.} Lunch time was @11:15 and the last bathroom break was.....well....too long ago to remember for a first grader. But surprisingly, nobody had to "go" {except me, but I wasn't going to dare start that chain of events} and no complaints of being hungry. It will definitely be remembered as a {fun} memorable trip. :-)
 Now...moving along to the REAL REASON for this post! Thanks for hanging with me as I shared about our exciting trip. Usually after the first semester or so I notice the kids really start to slack off with their AR reading. They don't seem to be as motivated and the AR point clubs with little incentives aren't doing the trick as much.
So a few weeks ago I introduced my class to the "AR Top Point Earner" prize board that goes up each Monday and the winner is announced on Friday. It's very simple, nothing fancy.{yet} I'll work on sprucing that up for next year. I figure spending less than $3.00 per week until the end of school will be well worth it~ if it means students are motivated to READ!
My prizes are mostly from The Dollar Tree or from the dollar sections at WalMart and Target. I also bought some things in bulk from Oriental Trading Company that I add to the prize board. Below are some of the prizes I've used the past several weeks.

I have been AMAZED at the response of students wanting to win these little prizes. AR testing has definitely increased. I think, too, that having the prizes on display in front of the class helps. {I have a small area of a bulletin board sectioned off for this}.

As I print my report for top point earners each week I notice the names at the bottom are now moving toward the top. And I'm mainly excited to see different students win each week! It shows they're really motivated to win, not just the top readers doing their normal reading routine.
I haven't had an exact tie yet, and hope that doesn't happen. If it does I would probably pull out some more prizes and let them choose or go shopping and try to find identical prizes. But...let's not think about that right now.

Thanks for stopping by the Crazy Critter Café. Hope you're able to use this to help with Accelerated Reader in your class! I'd love to know what you use to help motivate reluctant readers. {AR and reading in general}  Please leave your comments below. :-)
Have a great weekend!

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