Build a stronger community of readers: 19 educators share how they’re celebrating reading achievement this semester

Awards and accolades, treats and games, a semester party, a wall of fame—all part of the process (and the fun) for many educators and students who love to celebrate reading achievement!

Need a few new ideas? We invited educators in our Renaissance Royals community to join the conversation, asking them: How do you plan to celebrate reading achievement this semester?

As you might expect, students who meet reading goals are often recognized with books as rewards. And there’s always the popular picks such as popcorn and certificates for ice cream. Some educators let kids watch a movie. Others display students’ names, photos, or certificates.

What’s the latest trend? A few educators indicate that glow dance parties are catching on in classrooms and schools. See what else is happening to celebrate reading achievement. Below are the other creative plans and ideas shared by teachers, librarians, reading specialists, and principals.

Inspire your own celebrations by checking out their comments below.

1. “We’re ‘frying’ our best to achieve reading success. We have a bulletin board with French fry boxes collecting yellow pipe cleaner French fries as we get closer to our goals. If we achieve our goals, we get a hamburger and French fry party!”

Jennifer B.
Teacher, Wisconsin

2. “We have a school-wide camping theme. Students who get a 100 percent on an Accelerated Reader test get a firefly to glue on their mason jar. (Some students are on their third jar!) Students who earn Accelerated Reader points in sets of 10 are sent to the principal’s office for a prize and are announced in the morning. The students also receive a certificate for reaching individual goals such as reading their first chapter book.”

Laura S.
Second-grade teacher, Ohio

3. “We are having Blackout BINGO (reading = BINGO squares.) The class in each grade to get a blackout first gets a reading in the dark party with flashlights!”

Rita P.
Principal, Wisconsin

4. “We will have an electronics day and a movie day in the winter.”

Virginia T.
Second-grade teacher, North Carolina

5. “We give out certificates at assembly and little rewards afterwards such as no-uniform passes, no-homework passes, coupons to eat out, movie passes, etc.”

Mary M.
Librarian, Missouri

6. “As a class, we vote on a special activity when we’ve all reached our semester goals. This helps kids to celebrate their hard work and commit to another semester of continued success and growth.”

Jody S.
Teacher, Wisconsin

7. “Quarterly, in the library, we give coupons from local eating places to students who have 85 percent and 20 minutes; they also get to attend the school-wide rally if they meet these criteria.”

Nancy J.
Librarian, Tennessee

8. “Each marking period, our librarian rewards those students who have met their goal with an ice cream, nachos, or watermelon party.”

Mario S.
Fifth-grade teacher, Texas

9. “I reward students for meeting goals, such as their Accelerated Reader point/average goals, achievement test goals, and nine-week goals. For the first nine weeks, I’m giving them a pizza party. I also use a treasure box, ticket system, and other parties (ice cream, popsicle, or popcorn and a movie).”

Vanessa W.
Teacher, Alabama

10. “Each time we progress monitor, we celebrate a rise in score. This is to help them increase stamina and effort on the summative state test and to improve our scores for Star progress. Our celebrations help us meet our goals and motivate students to increase stamina and scaled scores.”

Mary B.
Reading intervention, Ohio

11. “Pajama and electronics day motivates our third-grade students.”

Carly S.
Teacher, North Carolina

12. “Printing off certificates for making achievement levels in Accelerated Reader and doing a mini award give-out in the classroom, Accelerated Reader reward for making percent correct goal, book level goal, and points goal.”

Penni R.
Fourth-grade teacher, North Carolina

13. “Popcorn and cotton candy for students who reach 100 percent of their goal! For overachievers, incentives such as teacher of the day, coach of the day, AP of the day, and kindergarten helper are offered.”

Renee G.
Teacher, Alabama

14. “Top readers for the semester are invited to ride on the float in the Christmas parade. They also have a pizza party in the library during the school day. They get drinks and a special desert, and they get to invite two friends to join them.”

Lee H.
Librarian/Media specialist, Tennessee

15. “We are taking the students off campus for lunch.”

Jessica S.
Librarian/Media specialist, Alabama

16. “Students who read the most each week earn ‘Top Reader of the Week’ with prizes for them. Students who complete their goals each month earn a BOOKIT! reward from Pizza Hut.”

Shonda H.
Second-grade teacher, Florida

17. “Lots and lots of praise.”

Katie P.
Sixth-grade reading teacher, Florida

18. “We celebrate reading success each semester with the top Accelerated Reader students in each grade having a certificate on the ‘Reading Wall of Fame!’”

Virginia W.
Librarian/Accelerated Reader administrator, Texas

19. “Lunch with the teacher is always a fun way to celebrate—also the students choose a leveled book. It’s a win-win!”

Elizabeth M.
ELL teacher, Nevada

Looking for more insights and new ways to strengthen reading practice and keep these celebrations coming? See a curated collection of resources to help build a community of readers and our recent post on 17 educators who share how and why setting goals leads to reading growth.

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