Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Race Car Trophies & Strawberry Yoohoo

When I began as the LMS at West, I was asked to help revive the Accelerated Reader program for our second through sixth grade students. Some teachers already had incentives and a working program in place, but we needed something consistent.

A fellow teacher was moving, and her husband had been a driver at the local Batesville race track. She posted on Facebook about giving trophies away. I jumped at the opportunity for FREE trophies. After all, if it's for free, it's for me!

We began the AR Race to the Top (sadly, the name is oh-so-close to our current national academic "race"). Each grade level has two trophies that their classroom has the opportunity to win. One trophy is for the best test average (number of quizzes passed/number of quizzes taken). The other is for the class who reads the most words.

As part of my PGP, I wanted to increase nonfiction circulation; so I used the mac-daddy of the trophies for the classroom with the highest average of nonfiction quizzes taken.

Here's the catch...for any classroom to win, EVERY student in the class has to take at least one AR quiz. The trophies are awarded each nine weeks. So...when a class wins, they can only keep the trophy for one quarter before having to return it to the library. There is some serious competition among some of the grade levels!

Which brings me to the Strawberry Yoohoo part of my story. Some classrooms do not like to give up their trophy, so I have to confiscate it. On this particular confiscation trip (I feel like a bounty hunter at times) a fellow teacher had some Strawberry Yoohoo remaining from a party and gave it to me to put in my fridge for after school. Here I am carrying six cartons of Strawberry Yoohoo and four race car trophies. Not my brightest idea ever, but our campus is large and I was trying to make it a one-trip trip to that side of the building. Luckily, a sixth grade student was not too far away when a Yoohoo started to slip. I yelled, "I'm losing a Yoohoo! Help!!!" She came running to the rescue, but not before asking if that was all I was losing. Gotta love 'em!

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