First, this is the last stand for this little gerber daisy. It bloomed last Saturday. Since it has been so warm even in OCTOBER, I have one last beautiful bloom. Funnily enough, the daisy didn't bloom much this summer. Now the weather has cooled so I picked it to enjoy it in my kitchen.
Last year they based the award strictly on points earned. However, some of the kids earning a lot of points were reading well below their grade level. One boy in particular this year even had a 20 point lead because he started testing prior to the start of AR. So he was cheating and his grade level average was below his actual grade and ability.
So this year they are using a combination of grade level and points which is way more than fair. The actual scores received is based on the number of answers the kids get right so they will only get points based on how many questions they get right. G's average grade level is over 7th grade.
This really is the most fair way as some kids are reading well beyond their own grade level and reading significantly sized books but are being out read on points alone by kids reading 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade level books when their tested level is 5th to 7th. It was discouraging for kids who are reading bigger books and not being acknowledged for the effort. And it wasn't pushing kids out of their comfort zone. These kids will only become better readers when challenged with more difficult books. Also, as far as G's cluster of 4 classes go, they are most of the brightest in the school.
For those kids who test below their actual grade level, the tested level on the higher end would count because for those kids testing at a 2nd or 3rd grade level, they could win with points by reading on the higher end or beyond to their tested level.
The average grade for AR is not counted which is also fair as some kids just don't comprehend or test well enough to have an AR grade. They may do well in other areas of school but with AR the grade itself was bringing some kids off honor roll.
G usually performs really well on the books she wants to read and not so much on the books she has to read, at least not all the time. Thankfully there are only 4 of those books a year and sometimes she does enjoy and pay attention to the books. So far we have hit 1 book a year since 3rd grade she just detested and didn't really try. She received no scolding from me. I mean you can't force someone to like a book particularly if you have to read it for school.
I am very proud of G and I think we were both surprised that she won the AR award. We didn't know about the new grading system until the awards were announced which means the kids aiming for just points didn't know until yesterday either. Now that may or may not be fair and that I will not judge.