Outside Reading

What Is the Purpose of Outside Reading?

Outside reading (OR), or independent reading, is essential for both brain development (language, communication, critical thinking, experience) and strengthening the independent work habits you will need to achieve the more rigorous reading requirements of your high school English classes.

How Will OR Affect My Literature Grade?

Outside reading is worth 10% of your Literature grade. If you meet your goal of 13 AR points and an 85% or higher average score, you will maintain your grade. If you do not meet your goal, your grade could drop 10% (or a full letter grade). So stay on top of it!  Outside reading grades will not be entered in Powerschool until the end of the trimester.

How Will I Be Graded?

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

B= 10-12 AR 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 

How Do I Reach My Goal? Plan Ahead!

  • 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.
  • Read books that interest you with levels that fall within, or close to, your ZPD. 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! Listening to audio books as you read along is also acceptable.
  • 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.
  • 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 a 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.
  • Develop a reading schedule and set due dates for yourself. The deadline IS the last possible day to take quizzes for the trimester, so set your due date 1-2 weeks before the deadline.
  • When you are ready, sign up to take your AR Quiz at school with Ms. Schwarck. Be sure to follow through with your appointment! Available times to take quizzes are limited. Ms. Schwarck is usually available to proctor four times a week at recess or lunch. Check the sign-up in the classroom.
  • 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%.
  • Keep track of your points and what books you have read by logging onto Renaissance Place and clicking “Progress” and “Bookshelf” at the top of the page.


OR Goal Deadline

The OR goal deadline is a true "deadline." It's the LAST POSSIBLE DAY  to take quizzes (or turn in reports). NO EXCEPTIONS. Set your due dates 1-2 weeks before the deadline to avoid problems of procrastination: you score low on the quiz, you are absent on the deadline day, Ms. Schwarck is not available to proctor, there are tech issues, etc. These are not excuses.

T1 Deadline:
Tuesday, 11/14 (7th & 8th Grades)

T2 Deadline:
Monday, 3/5 (7th & 8th Grades)

8th Grade 
T3 Deadline: Thursday, 5/17

7th Grade 
T3 Deadline: Friday, 5/25

Rules for Taking Quizzes

  1. AR quizzes must be taken at school with Ms. Schwarck. To guarantee you will be able to take a quiz, sign up to take a quiz during an available recess or lunch.
  2. You must finish the quiz in one sitting, so be sure you are truly ready to take the quiz and that you have enough time.
  3. You may not use your book or other resources during your quiz.
  4. You may not talk during your quiz.
  5. You may not sit near someone who is taking the same quiz.
  6. You may not talk to someone who is taking an AR Quiz.
  7. Points earned on AR quizzes for in class reading (novels, plays) do not count toward outside your reading goal.
  8. Exercise academic integrity. Violations of the above rules, cheating, or helping others cheat will not only negatively impact your grade, but also carry other negative consequences.

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.