Accelerated Reader quandry

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by missalli, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. missalli

    missalli Companion

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    Aug 27, 2011

    We use AR in my school. When I say that I mean all our teachers and students, K-5, have accounts and the principal 'highly encourages' its use. Of course some teachers are gung-ho and some barely look at it.

    I don't have a class of my own; I do pull-out throughout the day focusing on ELLs and other struggling readers. I have kids of different grades for part of their language arts block, although not the whole thing. I want to do something to encourage the kids to use AR and celebrate the ones who really work on increasing their word/point count. At the same time, I only have them for an hour and their opportunities to use AR in my room will be limited. I know most of my high scorers will come from the classrooms where AR is really promoted, and I'm having some qualms about this.

    Am I overthinking this whole thing?
     
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  3. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Aug 27, 2011

    Could you explain the program to the students to come to you if they aren't sure what it is about and then give them incentives when they bring you their tops reports and achieve a milestone in points? Such as; they get a pencil when they can show that they reached ten points, or use stickers or some little reward that makes it fun for them to read and progress in the AR program? Might be a good idea to let your teachers know ahead of time if you plan to go with this...
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 27, 2011

  5. missalli

    missalli Companion

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    Aug 28, 2011

    Thanks Heaven. You're right, I think the big thing is going to be communication with the kids' classroom teachers. We have a younger crop of teachers this year, especially in 4th grade, so I'm hoping they'll be more open to the inclusion of tech (I think one of our former teachers, who retired at the end of last year, never turned any of his computers on all year). I'm not a fan of giving out treats or prizes for AR, but I do want to have some kind of board to track words or points.

    TeacherGuy, I have heard and understand most of the criticisms of AR, but my personal experience has been positive. While not everything is going to work for every kid, AR has helped many of my reluctant readers begin to form good reading habits, i.e. picking books that are at their independent reading level, reading for understanding. When you teach 4th graders who are at a pre-primer level, that's important stuff. They also like taking tests on more difficult chapter books I read aloud, which gives me an idea of their listening comprehension.

    I think the teachers at my site who aren't using AR aren't doing so because they have actual, substantial problems with the program, but because they're tech dinosaurs, can't handle the management, etc.
     
  6. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Aug 28, 2011

    My mom teaches kids similar to the ones you work with. She has a 4th grade self-contained intervention class, and most of her kids come in at pre-primer or primer. She too, has found great success with AR. Last year, one of her kids, who had NEVER found success in school before, became a VORACIOUS reader, and AR really helped with that. He was able to see just how much he was reading, and it made him feel really proud of himself and gave him so much more confidence in school. Anyway, I know she has the kids set goals periodically (once a month? I'm not entirely sure), and one of the goals is AR word count - her school uses word count, not points, for AR. When they kids meet (or exceed) those goals, they feel SO proud of themselves. You could do anything you want with that - prizes if you want, or some other kind of reward. Or maybe a certificate of achievement or a positive note home? Anything, really!:) If you did something with individual goal-setting by each kid, then you could factor in how much their classroom teachers use AR...something like that??
     
  7. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2011

    Promote and encourage reading while you have the kids in your class.. Read, read and read some more to your kids and teach them to choose "just-right" books. Have books in your classroom that they can check out. If your excited about reading, your kids will get excited!! :D Read childrens books yourself so you can recommend them to your kids and they don't necessarily have to be AR books.

    We have AR at our school and the kids have access to it in the classroom, but I don't promote it or make a big deal out of it because I'm not a fan. I do all the above and some to get my kids reading. I don't think it's AR that gets kids to really read books..It has to come from the teacher. If you love reading and books it will make a huge difference.
     

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