Last Monday a whole class of 3rd graders was honored in front of the Caldwell School Board. Mrs. Hoilien's readers are extraordinary in the quantity and quality of reading practice they are completing this year in Accelerated Reader (AR). Students who attended the meeting (From L-R: Emma, Adelynn, Valerie, Ruben, Israel). Thanks, parents, for bringing your kids out.
Stat Sheet - Mrs. Hoilien’s Reading Squad (As of Sunday 3/13/2017. They actually further beat their records throughout the week):
316 Books Read and Quizzed in February (80% Correct or Better)
1782 Books This School Year
Total Pts Earned in Q3 = 479 (Goal was 230)
Estimated Time Reading Per Day = 52 min in Q3
Every Student Met Their Individual Reading Points Goal for Quarter 3
Avg % Correct on Quizzes in Q3 = 88.7%
87% of Reading Time Was Independent (Compared to “Reading To” or “Reading With”)
What Matters Most in Reading Practice?
One reason I chose to highlight this class was that they illustrate some things that research indicates matter most in becoming better readers.
Joy: The classroom needs to be rich with literature and a sense of the joy found in reading. Time Actually Reading: Our students need to spend as much time as possible reading. This is the best way to become a better reader and, with success, they can grow to love it more. AR Points are simply an estimated measure of time spent engaged in reading. Goldilocks Principle: It is best if reading materials are just right for each student, not too easy and not too hard. Students should be scoring at least 80% correct on their quizzes to indicate the materials they are reading are within their zone of proximal development (ZPD). Student Choice: It makes a difference when students have choices about what they read vs just reading what is assigned to them.
Individual Goals: Fair is not always equal. In Accelerated Reader (AR), each of our students is assigned an individualized point goal, that is based on their own reading level. Their goals are set based on an estimate of points they can gain if they are reading 20 minutes per night (100 min per week). A more advanced reader can whip through books in 20 minutes per night, where a more developing reader moves a little more slowly. So, different point goals for each kid really are more fair, because each student can meet their goal in about 20 minutes per day. When kids really are connected to books and reading, they far exceed these goals. Self-Monitoring: Students recording their own progress leads to internal motivation and reinforcement, which is much more powerful than reading for rewards or prizes. Mrs. Hoilien and the 3rd grade team have used tokens that the kids hang outside in the hall each time that they pass a quiz with more than 80% accuracy. This is a simple way for the student to pat themselves on the back. It snowballs.
Most Vocabulary is Caught, not Taught: Research indicates that students, on average, gain 2000 to 3000 new vocabulary words every year. Really! On top of that, many students far exceed these average gains. It would be ridiculous to "teach" this many new words. In order to gain vocabulary this fast, our kids have to be flooded with rich language that they understand, but that contains some new words. We try to create that environment in each of our classrooms. Infectious reading environment: This comes right back to finding Joy in reading. I love to see kids passing books around and making recommendations to each other. I love to make recommendations to our kids as well
Yeehaa!!! That was the word of the day for 4th graders as they shouted and celebrated their successes as pioneers as part of their Idaho History unit. Students came to school dressed in western and pioneer wear and were prepared to cut wood, build fires, make butter, rope cattle, wash clothes, make a homemade meal, and much, much more!
Mr. and Mrs. C do a phenomenal job of setting the students up for learning and a successful day that requires a lot of hard work! We also would like to thank all of the volunteers who came out! We truly could not have pulled it off without all of you here to help! Also, thank you so much to all of you who have purchased chocolates from our 4th graders to help pay for this incredible, hands-on experience! What a memorable day for our kids!