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West Madison set to launch Accelerated Reader

Students working in small groups at West Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Students working in small groups at West Madison Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – This month, teachers and staff at West Madison Elementary School will start instructing students to use the Accelerated Reader (AR) Incentive program.

Renaissance Learning Inc. produces the AR program. Students independently select books at their reading level and later take comprehension tests to confirm their understanding of the book.

AR also can monitor how well a student’s work is matching College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).

“We are going to call it ‘WMES Raises the Roof for Reading,'” kindergarten teacher Kari A. Sims said.

Up to now, students read their library book, took a computerized comprehension test and earned points. “However, those points didn’t really mean much to the students,” Sims said.

With the AR program, students will earn rewards for each point level they reach. “They also will be able to shop with the points that they earn,” she said.

Once each semester, West Madison will open an AR store. Using their accumulated AR points, students can buy items, like pencils, eraser, folders and other supplies.

“However, we are asking for donations from the community to help us purchase the prizes in order to get the store up and running,” Sims said.

Each grade level will have different point goals. Each goal for a student will equal a different prize like a free doughnut coupon, free ice cream, car magnet, having their names placed on the wall of fame and the coveted “top reward,” Sims said.

When a student reaches the top point level for their grade, they will be eligible to put their handprints and name on a ceiling tile, which will be displayed in the hallway at West Madison.

“The top three point-earners from each grade will get to take part in a ‘Silly String Showdown’ with the principal,” Sims said.

West Madison will conduct its AR kickoff assembly on Jan. 3.

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