Reading Counts! is a reading incentive program produced by Scholastic Books. Students participating in the program earn points by reading books. These points will earn the students extra rewards. Students choose a book from the reading list (see below). After reading the book, students go to the computer and take a multiple-choice quiz on the book consisting of ten questions that the computer pulls from a group of thirty questions. If the student answers 8 out of 10 correctly they earn the points for that book. Books are assigned points based on length and difficulty.
Students learn to read best by reading more often. Because reading is the basis for all subject areas, it is important that students become good readers and develop a love for reading.
When students read in and out of school in volume, it significantly affects the development of many skills including reading rate, fluency, vocabulary, general knowledge of the world, overall verbal ability, and academic achievement (Cunningham and Stanovich, 1998). However, students vary dramatically in how much they read. Research estimates that fifth graders who voluntary read outside of school range from under 8,000 words to over two million words a year (Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding, 1988). Therefore, many students need to be spending more time reading. A student who reads 1,000,000 words per year will add 1,000 words to their vocabulary. Students not only increase their vocabulary, but they also improve in reading comprehension, spelling, grammar, writing, and all other academic areas.
Reading Counts is a reading incentive program produced by Scholastic. It is similar to
Accelerated Reader and Electronic Bookshelf. It motivates students to read by having them
earn points based on the books they have read. Students will earn rewards for the points
they have earned. There is a list of over 5,000 books that students can choose to read.
After reading a book, students go to the computer to take a multiple-choice quiz on the
book. The quiz consists of ten questions that the computer pulls from a group of thirty
questions. If the student answers eight out of ten correctly, he/she earns the points for
that book. Books are assigned points based on their length and difficulty. Students who
used Reading Counts scored higher on the Stanford Nine test in vocabulary and
comprehension than those who didn’t. Plus, students using Reading Counts enjoyed
reading more than the control group did! (Block and Mangieri, 2004) Sand Creek wants
their students to become proficient readers; therefore, Reading Counts will be an
important part of Sand Creek’s reading program. Teachers have found that the best way to
get reluctant reading students to read is to make Reading Counts required as part of
their reading grade.
Following is a chart that lists the point requirements for fifth and sixth grade. Students are encouraged to read books close to their reading level, but are free to choose any of the books on the list. The Reading Counts points will be 5% of their reading grade. Students will also receive a grade for how well they scored on the computer book tests. Their comprehension scores on the book tests will also be 5% of their reading grade. Their comprehension score is part of the reading grade to discourage students from taking tests on books they have not completely read. Reading Counts will be a total of 10% of the reading grade (5% for points and 5% for comprehension) of the student’s reading grade at Sand Creek. Students are expected to earn half of each quarter’s points by midterm.
The PTO would like to encourage students to read beyond the required number of points. As an extra incentive, students will receive rewards for earning 200, 300, 400, and 500 points and their name will be on the Reading Counts Wall of Fame. Incentives will be passed out at the end of each quarter.
At the end of the year additional awards, pins, medallions, and trophies will be passed out on Awards Day to those who read beyond the required amount of points and maintain a comprehension average of 74% or higher.
2nd and 3rd place readers for fifth and sixth grade – larger trophy on Awards Day
First place readers in fifth and sixth grade - name on plaque at school and the largest
trophy on Awards Day