Dear Parents:

I am sure you have noticed the Guided Independent Reading (G.I.R.) grade on your child’s report card. Just in case you have not had a chance to learn about this grade earlier in the year when the teachers sent home information, I would like to explain this grade again.

Belding Middle School made a commitment to the Accelerated Reading (AR) program several years ago. AR is a research-based program that encourages daily reading. With AR, students read books at their individual reading level, and take quizzes to assess their understanding when they are finished reading. Research on AR finds that students need to read 30-60 minutes each day, at their independent reading level to improve their reading fluency and comprehension. We set aside at least 20 minutes each day at the middle school and we use an online version of AR that gives students access to nearly 100,000 book titles and quizzes. The grade for G.I.R. is determined by three components. Each student can earn a total of 250 points each marking period. Here are the three components considered in the G.I.R. grade:

1. Point Goal (100 Points). Each student has a point goal for AR that is determined by his or her reading level. Students will receive one point for each percent of their goal that they earn. For example, if Billy gets 85% percent of his point goal, he will earn 85 points out of 100.

2. Percent of Questions Correct Goal (100 points). The Percent of questions answered correctly on AR tests should average 85% for all students on every book they read. Research stresses that books must be read closely in order for students to make gains in comprehension.
85-100% of Questions Answered Correctly – 100 points
80 – 84% of Questions Answered Correctly – 80 points
75 – 79% of Questions Answered Correctly – 60 points
70 – 74% of Questions Answered Correctly – 40 points
65 – 69% of Questions Answered Correctly – 20 points
Below 65% of Questions Answered Correctly – 0 points

3. Book Level Goal (50 points). Students must read books within the range of their reading level. They will earn full points when they read at or above their prescribed level. They will receive fewer points if they choose less challenging books below their reading level.
Average at or above minimum book level – 50 points
Average .1-.5 points below minimum book level – 35 points
Average .6-1.0 points below minimum book level – 20 points
Average 1.1 – 1.5 points below minimum book level – 10 points
Average more than 1.5 points below book level – 0 points

When grades are computed, you can see that it is possible for a student to reach only 25 percent of his or her point total and still earn a C- in G.I.R. if they are meeting their goals in the other two areas. A student should be able to reach this range with minimal effort. Therefore, we feel that students who put forth a solid effort and take their AR time seriously each day should be well rewarded for their efforts.