Outside Reading

What Is the Purpose of Outside Reading (OR)?
Outside, or Independent, reading is essential for both brain development (language, communication, critical thinking, etc.) and for building the work habits you will need for the rigorous reading requirements of high school English classes. Also, instead of your teacher assigning ALL the reading, OR provides you more independence and choice as you read the volume you need in order to grow.


How Will OR Be Assessed?
Your OR will be monitored through “Reading Quizzes” on Accelerated Reader. These quizzes will earn you points. Your goal each trimester is to earn at least 13 points with a quiz score average of at least 85%.

Please note: Since OR refers to independent reading outside of class, points from quizzes you take for assigned books, like Freak the Mighty or To Kill a Mockingbird, do not count toward the OR goal.


How Will OR Be Graded?
Outside reading is worth 10% of your Literature grade. OR grades will not be entered in PowerSchool until the end of the trimester.

A = at/exceeds 13 points w/ 85% or higher avg.

B = 10-12 points w/ 85% or higher avg.

C = 6-9 points w/ 85% or higher avg.

D = 5 or less points or a half-hearted attempt to meet goal

F = little evidence of attempt, or nothing but picture books or books made into movies (without prior agreement). Please note: This score would drop your grade a full letter, so stay on top of your OR!


OR Due Dates & Deadlines
The due date is set one to two weeks before the deadline (the last possible day to take quizzes). If you are unable to reach 13 OR points by the due date, you will need to attend SSR at recess or lunch each day until you meet your goal (in time for the deadline).

Due Date       Deadline

T1: Thursday, 11/1  Tuesday, 11/13 (FYI - No School Mon 11/12)

T2: Thursday, 2/28  Monday, 3/4

T3: Thursday, 5/16  Thursday, 5/23

Rules for Taking Quizzes

+ AR quizzes must be taken at school with Ms. Schwarck. 
+ You must finish the quiz in one sitting.
+ You may not use your book or other resources during your quiz.
+ You may not talk during your quiz.
+ You may not sit near someone who is taking the same quiz.
+ You may not talk to someone who is taking an AR Quiz.
+ You may not discuss quiz questions and answers with other students.

How Do I Reach My Goal?

1. Choose books that interest you with levels that fall within, or close to, your ZPD that you haven't already taken quizzes for. The more you understand and enjoy what you are reading, the better you will do on your quizzes and the more points you will earn!
If you have trouble getting into books, try…
+ choosing a book at a lower reading level.
+ asking Mrs. Hinton to recommend books that might interest you.
+ listening to audio books— even better, listen as you read along.

2. Use ARBookFinder (
www.arbookfind.com) to look up the book level (BL), AR points, and the Reading Practice quiz number (if there is no quiz number, then there is no quiz available). Remember the points shown are only earned if you score 100% on the quiz.

3. Before you start reading a book for your goal, make sure...
There is a quiz for your book through ARBookFinder or Accelerated Reader.
You haven't already taken the quiz on that book-- look at your “Bookshelf” in  Accelerated Reader. If you do wish to reread a book for points, see Ms. Schwarck to prepare a plan. Without a plan well in advance, you might not be able to receive points.

4. Develop a reading schedule and set due dates for yourself. You should prepare to read at least one chapter every day (or for 15 minutes every day), in addition to any assigned reading. Please note that 
reading includes comprehension.

5. When you are ready to take a quiz, notify Ms. Schwarck, who will inform you when you can take the quiz.

6. Take a “Reading Practice” quiz on each book to earn points. The higher you score, the more points you earn. Please note: For 10-question quizzes, you will not earn any points if you score less than 60%. For 20-question quizzes, you will not earn points if you score less than 70%.

7. Keep track of your points and what books you have read by logging onto Renaissance Place and clicking “Progress” at the top of the page.

What If My Book Has No AR Quiz?

Most of the time, it does, so try again. Double-check spelling. Try variations of titles. Click “contains” rather than “starts with.” Also, sometimes the books are listed under different titles than you’d expect. Consult Ms. Schwarck or Mrs. Hinton if you are having trouble.

If the book is new, you may need to wait until the quiz becomes available.

You may read OR books that do not have AR quizzes, but unfortunately, there is no way to earn easy points for these books. However, you may do book reports on them to earn points. Bring a copy of your book and discuss a report plan with Ms. Schwarck.