In an effort to increase reading and comprehension skills among the 7th grade students, Grayson County Middle School implemented a 7th Grade Reading Challenge for students and staff. The recently completed 11-week challenge was designed to support GCMS' goals for improving student literacy.
Students were motivated through team competition and individual rewards. The reading challenge involved reading books from a variety of genres, passing an Accelerated Reader test, and earning a leaf for their team's tree. All three 7th grade teams had a huge tree in their hall and every time a student passed an AR test, he/she received a leaf with their name on it and the title of the book to place on their team's tree. At the end of the 7th grade challenge, the team with the most leaves won the competition and the reward of a free tech party where they can use their cell phones, iPods, and iPads, along with local and school-wide recognition. Individual incentives included gift certificates from Dairy Queen, McDonalds, and Wendy's restaurants for every five books read.
This challenge encouraged the students to read and analyze their books while carrying on a conversation with their teacher and each other through the 7th grade Reading Challenge wall on www.wallwisher.com. It promoted student comprehension and literacy of what they read through the conversations and AR tests. While students who love to read enjoyed this challenge, the goal was to promote an interest and hopefully a love of reading in all students at GCMS.
The challenge was headed by Mrs. York for Team 4, Mrs. Thomas for Team 5, and Mrs. Loughran for Team 6. The winning team, Team 4, had a total of 205 books read and Accelerated Reader tests passed. In all, the 7th grade students at GCMS read a total of 449 books this year, talked about their books on wallwisher.com, and earned leaves for their team's tree every time they passes an AR test. You could say that spring has certainly blossomed in the 7th grade hall at GCMS.
Lisa York's Team 4 took top honors in the AR Reading Challenge. Top three readers for the team were (l – r) Shantella Cottrell, Breanna Frank and Brianna Van Meter.
Top readers from Shannon Loghran's Team 6 were Bryson Lowe and Shalane Woosley, shown in front of the team's colorful tree.
As top readers from Amanda Thomas' Team 5, Chelsea Whobrey and Harmony Miniard show off their classmates' accomplishments and reading leaves as well.