Thursday, October 6, 2011

Teacher Post: Accelerated Reader

It's been a while since I've posted something from my life as a teacher, so I thought I'd let you guys know about something I've been doing in my classroom this week.

I'm not a big pusher for Accelerated Reader. It's fine, it doesn't hurt anyone to answer a few questions about a book they've read. But, I run into a number of problems with it.

One- I have children who don't read books carefully, or at all and march their happy tails to the computer to fail test, after test, after test. Boo...

Two- I have students become so competitive with the program that the point of the program gets lost in the desire to beat their friends/enemies...

Three- I have children who could care less if they have 100 points or 0.5...

Well, we started reading a new chapter book this week, The Candy Corn Contest, by Patricia Giff.

It is an adorable little book that my kiddos are loving. Anyway, in the story the classroom has an estimation jar full of candy corn and every time they read a page in their library book, they get to make a guess.

So, we now have a candy corn filled estimation jar. But to motivate AR, and to tie in with the theme of the book, my students can only make guesses when they PASS an AR test. This has helped with problems 1 and 3. I simply don't know what to do about number 2. Number 2 really doesn't bother me. I'm a competitive person by nature, too. :) But I guess I wouldn't be fulfilling my teacherly duty if I didn't say that the competitiveness did bother me. HA!

I gave each student in my room a little scorecard to keep up with. I wrote their names and their beginning point value. Each time they passed a test, they could write down their new point value and turn in an estimation.

Friends, these kids have been reading fools this week and I'm loving it!! They have stacks of books on the corners of their desks to read for early finisher tasks and it really has been so much fun for me and for them.

I just hope I can keep them this motivated to read after the book is finished. Please share your ideas for keeping up with Accelerated Reader and what motivates your students.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea Alison!!! I use AR with the Bookit tix. Not only do they have to read x amount of books per month (varies by student ability), but also pass the AR test that goes with the books. But really, that doesn't motivate the kids as much as I wish it did. I LOVE the estimation jar!!