Get Students Excited about Reading Again! Life After Accelerated Reader

I have some super exciting news! Our SIT (School Improvement Team) met last week, and they decided that teachers can decide whether to participate in AR {Accelerated Reader} by grade level! I have been on cloud 9 ever since!

I feel like by the time students are in second grade, they are pretty wishy washy about having to do AR and get points. They love it for the first semester. They are totally into it and track each little half point they earn. Toward the second semester, I stop getting questions about what point club they are in or how many points until they get to the next one.
Here is why I am so excited about the change:
With AR: Students only like to read AR books. They only want to read to "get it over with" or to get those stinking points. They ignore all of the amazing National Geographic books with the awesome pictures I have in my room. They ignore all the fun books that may actually interest them. Instead, they choose the shortest, lamest book...just. for. the. points.

Without AR: There is no pressure to read as many books as the can, no pressure to be in the top point club, no pressure to read those lame books that "I have to read because it's in my dot level!" There is NO PRESSURE! Reading can be fun again!! They can look at books that catch their interest without worrying about the dot, the test, and the points.
Now the big question:

How do I motivate students to read for meaning without AR?
I wanted some awesome, do-able options before I went to my teaching parter {Cassondra} and said I for sure wanted to quit AR. The program is really a great way to get/make students to read, but I want them to enjoy reading, not just do it because they HAVE to. I searched and searched and searched...Here is what we came up with!
AR Alternatives
-Book BINGO: Students get a BINGO card on Monday and have to get a BINGO by Friday. They will be reading at home, have a choice in their books, and have to take ownership in their reading.
The cards can be by character, genre, fiction/nonfiction, pretty much whatever! Friday they will choose their favorite book for the week and do a book talk about it in small groups.
- Book Blogs: Students can blog about their books they read the previous night for morning work.
-Read and Retell page
-PowerPoint/Prezi: Students will create a presentation over a book/author they enjoyed reading.
-Commercial: Students will use the iPads to create a commercial for a book they really enjoyed.
-Author Study
-Student lead quizzes: Partner students up, each student reads a book and creates their own quiz for their partner. They swap books and take the quiz.
-Read-A-Thon: Half day of nothing but reading (but how to track this in an educational way?)
-Exit/Entrance Tickets: Students answer a comprehension question about their book upon entering the classroom.
Book Chain: For each book they read and do a read and retell page they can put a link on a paper chain. When it reaches the floor, we could have a half day book party/read a thon.
We are going to attempt some of this for the rest of this year. If it doesn't work the way we want, I guess we can always join the AR game next year since K-1 have decided to continue with the program. 
I love using my {Read with a Purpose pack} to help students organize their thoughts and ideas before they generate their final product. These have been an awesome addition to my classroom.

Now for my next venture:
How to organize my books?!?


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