AR Questions...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by IRAEnglishT-chr, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. IRAEnglishT-chr

    IRAEnglishT-chr Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2007

    I am teaching my own class for the first time this year and have transitioned from being a nervous wreck to being very very very excited to being motivated and overwhelmed with responsibility! Right where I should be a day after getting my first job, huh? :p

    Anyways, one of the many many many things I've done is to go through my collection of books and mark them according to their Accelerated Reading levels. Our school is big on AR. I know that the books are leveled and that the kids take 10-question comprehension tests on the books, which somehow determine their reading levels.

    I also know that it seems to be a big deal to the kids in every school I've subbed in that they know for sure that the book they want to read is an AR book (and that it is on their level and worth a lot of points). I have found that I might as well not even suggest a book that isn't an AR book...

    I don't wish to discuss the pros and cons of AR because I'm not completely sure how I feel about it yet, and also because I have to use it at my school, regardless of whether I'm for or against it. But what I would like to know is how some of you have been successful with getting kids to read books that aren't listed on AR and how you fit them in without causing the children to lose out on what they consider valuable AR reading time when they take the time to read other books. One example is that I just read a good book that uses letters for the main characters to communicate in many parts and I think it's an interesting way to introduce different styles of writing, (Love, Ruby Lavendar is the name of the book if anyone's interested) but I didn't see it on the AR list.

    Also-- isn't there some way to request that a book be added to the AR Listing?

    Do you think there would be an issue with not allowing my own books to be checked out this year, but rather used in the classroom only? I only have about 150 books that are AR books, so I worry about losing them before I can build up my own collection for the future.

    And, finally, do any of you color code the books on the outside to make it easier for kids to locate books on their own levels? Do you have your own system or use the same system as the library/book room in the school?

    Thanks in advance for your help! You guys are great!
     
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  3. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Aug 16, 2007

    I would think if they're your personal AR books then you don't have to lend them. I know it's hard to get the kids to read something other than AR when your school is pushing AR...maybe it's something you could read pieces of to get them interested & they have to read it to find out what happens???

    I don't know if you can request a book for AR....Maybe check with your librarian.

    Our library had the books color coded with color tape on the outside , so the kids knew what their level was. I didn't really have any being a first year teacher.

    I hope this helps!!
     
  4. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Aug 16, 2007

    Yes, you can make a test for a non AR book. There's a feature for doing that.

    I marked all the AR books on my shelf, but I have lots and lots of other ones that aren't.

    My fifth graders decided on their own that they didn't want to read just AR books. Most of them are avid readers and have been pushed to win the AR contest for their grade level in the past. We just decided to opt out of the contest this year. They can still take them, but we don't really care about points anymore. And since the librarians don't want to bother creating the tests anymore, even when I make them and give it to them, I decided they could play book Nazi with some other kids.
     
  5. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Aug 16, 2007

    Oh, I forgot.

    I've marked the top of the closed books with my name. I write it right across the pages when you squeeze the book shut. I've lost way too many excellent books, and even though I believe in "passing on a good read", I also believe in not going broke trying to keep a high level of books in the classroom. They can borrow it all summer as long as they bring it back!
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 17, 2007

    I write my name and book information on the outer edges of the book as well. I also have book cards in them, and the kids have to check them out. If they don't return them, I turn their name in to the librarian who sends them a bill. They also don't permit them to buy event tickets or pick up report cards or check out other books until the book is paid for or returned.

    I have over 400 books in my collection.

    There are some really good test-sharing websites out there. I'll send the information to you via PM, but I don't post the owner's emails online without their permission. They each host a group where teachers write tests for new and old books . . . some with and some without AR tests already. You can also get advice there.

    I'm also a certified AR trainer, so I'd be happy to answer any specific questions about running the program. It's pretty common for schools to run the program improperly, which is unfortunate.
     

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