Monday, April 9, 2012

AR Party Time

I can't believe we are in the last weeks of school already.   This year has flown by!  In fact, we just got finished celebrating with our third AR party of the year.  That means only one more to go.  I've got to start planning the last party of the year because it will be here before I know it.

I've done three parties so far this year.  Everything had a "bug" theme because the MC theme this year was "Catch the Reading Bug."  The kids that met their 3 AR goals (quiz average, point goal, and book level goal) were allowed to attend the party.

Student who earned the most points in their class recieve special recognition and get to choose a book of their own to keep.  I order several boxes of "bruised" books from Scholastic for this purpose.

For the first nine weeks, I kept the party short and sweet.  I called it a "Bug Bakery" party.  Each student that attended got 2 chocolate chip cookies and a small container of icing to spread on the cookie.  They were able to decorate the cookie with "bug" sprinkles which I found at Walmart because it was around Halloween.  For the most part, I think the kids enjoyed it, although I think they wished that there had been a bit more to it.

For the second nine weeks, we watched a "bug" themed movie and ate popcorn.   Fourth and fifth graders weren't too crazy about that one and many chose not to attend the party.  Bummer.

So I tried to make this last party a little more exciting.  I did a "Buggy Carnival."  I bought several carnival games from Oriental Trading and I bought a few other things at the Dollar Tree and Target.

Each student got 5 tickets and a little bag to keep their prizes in.  I bought the tickets at Wal-Mart and the bags at Dollar Tree.  I got the prizes from Oriental Trading and also bought candy.  I am glad I got the candy because the older kids perferred the candy to the prizes.  They had to use 1 ticket to play each game and once thier tickets were gone, they went back to class.

Spider Pants was the first game.  They had to throw plastic spiders into the plastic pants.  They got 6 spiders.  3 in won them a prize.

Next up was Bug Bounce.   They had to bounce 3 out of 8 ping pong balls (decorated with bug stickers) in tothe bug cups to win a prize.

Spin a Prize or Spin the Wheel was a popular game.  All the kids had to do was spin the wheel.  If the wheel landed on candy, they got a piece of candy.  If it landed on prize, they got a prize.  Some of the kids got in line multiple times to play it.  Worth the $20.00 I spent on it.

On the same table next to the Spin a Prize game there was the Disk Drop game.  Students got 4 disks.  Whatever the disk landed on was their prize.  Once they won a prize the game was over, but they got 4 chances to win. 

Students used rings to toss onto the spider legs at Spider Ring Toss.  They only had to get one on to win a prize.

At the Bean a Book game, students used 3 bean bags to throw them at "books."  If they got one in, they won a prize.  These were $3.99 each on Oriental Trading and they came with the bean bags.  What a deal!

The last game was Bug Bowling.  Students used bowling balls I decorated with bug stickers to knock down pins.  1-5 pins down won them a piece of candy.  6-9 pins down won them a prize and all 10 pins down won them candy and a prize.  The set was $9.99 at CVS, but I saw a similar, colorful set for $6.99 at Wal-Mart.

For this last party, I am going to do a Bug Bingo party.  Because the upper grade kids don't seem to be so much into the "bug" prizes, I am going to use some Scholastic Dollars to buy boxes of bruised books and use those as prizes.  I also have tons of candy left over from the carnival that I can use for prizes. I bought some bingo chips from Oriental Trading (I should get some kind of discount with as much business as I've given them this year...LOL) and I found a neat website that generates bug bingo cards that I will print off and laminate.  If you're interested, you can find that site here.

In addition to parties at the end of each 9 weeks, I have also been recognizing the student in each grade level who has read the most words in AR books each month. These students get their picture taken and placed on a special wall in the MC.  There seems to be a bit of a competition going on with a few of the second graders, so it's been kind of fun waiting to see who will be the Reader of the Month at the end of each month.

To wrap up the year, awards will be given out on Awards Day for those students in 2nd-5th who have earned at least 100 points.  Special recogintion will also be given to students who have the top 3 point earners in each grade level.  And finally, students who have read 1,000,000 words in AR books will get to go to a special lunch and ride in a limo.  (I hope I get to chaperon that one!)

It's been a fun year of reading and I really hope that the kids have enjoyed celebrating all that they have accomplished in Accelerated Reader.  I am already planning what I can do next year to make it even better.

Do you do AR in your MC?  If so, how to you celebrate your kiddos' accomplishments in AR?  I'd love to hear about it.

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