As sixth graders we will be involved in the Accelerated Reader, or AR, program. If you have never been introduced to the AR program, allow me to explain a bit about how it works.

First, at the beginning of the year we will take a quick reading assessment  called the STAR test. It will help to determine what AR level students should read on. This test has a proven algorithm for determining fluency level, vocabulary level, and text complexity to help students further develop their reading skills. Like many people, if left alone, students will stick to a level of text that they find comfortable. AR challenges that comfort level by awarding points for books read and tested on.

Next, after the STAR test has been administered, students will be assigned a reading range. Books have been assessed by the developers of the AR program and placed within the ranges based on the same things students were tested on. As the ranges increase in value, so does the difficulty and complexity of the text. 

Once assigned a reading level, together with the students we will establish a point goal for the grading period. The students will then read AR books within their range, test on the book after completion, and gain points toward their goals. 

At the end of each quarter we will look at how well the student did, in both gaining points and achieving goals, and then decide how much we can raise the goal for the next quarter. Students may also gain extra recognition or small rewards for making gains. 

That's not too bad, right? It's not, and students love to read the wide range of books available to test on as well as compete against each other.  The hurdle we have at the moment is the lack of books for sixth graders to read and test on.

I have taken the time to create a wish list through Classrooms by Walmart of the top books for sixth grade readers over the past few years. If you can donate any of these books to our classroom library, it would be very appreciated. The books will be available for all students to check out, read, and test on. And the books don't need to be bought from Walmart, they can be donated to the classroom from any source you have. If you decide to give a book, just click the Pledge button under the title and that lets me know you will bring it in.

In the meantime, you can use this list to help direct your students summer reading! See you soon!!!!