The Librarian Files: Praise and Raise! Recognising student achievement outside of the classroom

By Denisha Polin

by Sharan Kaur

Sharan Kaur, a secondary school librarian, has been using Accelerated Reader and Star Reading for over a decade to help keep students engaged and on track with reading development. 

As the sole librarian in her school, the high-accountability role can be isolating and intense. That’s why we’ve invited Sharan to write a blog series for Renaissance covering a new topic each month: we hope this blog series will give other secondary school librarians practical tips for library reading engagement and tracking strategies. In addition, Sharan hopes this blog will provide some comfort to other school librarians. 

A confident and capable school librarian is integral to all students’ reading development.


Sharan writes:

If, like me, you fall into a Pinterest ‘Rabbit Hole’ sometimes taking inspiration from other schools Accelerated Reader success displays but then sink into the reality that you have no display space, then I’m sure you’ll find this all too relatable.

Whilst we are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful, beautiful and well invested library, we don’t have a lot of wall space for a display board. We are however in a position to make display boards virtual, which in a lot of ways makes things so much easier; no printing, cutting, gluing, backing, stapling, repairing… the list goes on.

We are very lucky to have two very large display screens both in communal areas for maximum exposure. This is a great way for us to get a ‘shout out’ to readers. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see every child in the school that takes an AR quiz, so this is a great way to reach everyone beyond the scope of the library and even the classroom to let them know no win goes unnoticed.

 Students love my little cartoon avatar and we use them on everything, from stickers, certificates and even our library signage. I highly recommend making yourself one!

Here are some examples we’ve used to engage, remind and reward our readers.

Don’t forget to take your AR Quiz!

With the workload from multiple subjects to think about, it can be easy for students to forget to take their AR quiz. Having such a display which tells them the book name, number of AR points and the quiz number has proven to be extremely helpful.

Encouraging Reading Achievement

Showing students their current achievements is a great incentive to motivate them to read more and gain more AR points, perhaps even reach millionaire status.

To find out more about how Accelerated Reader can support the reading strategy at your school, click here.

Missed the previous blog from our Librarian Files series? Find out how Sharan maintains a reading buzz throughout the school year.

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