This week I am going to discuss AR – Accelerated Reader. This is a pretty popular reading program, it may even be at your school. In my evaluation I am going to focus on how I use it in my own room, since there are so many things you can do with this resource.
Accelerated reader is a reading program that evaluates students reading skills, provides reading goals that students can read by earning points. Students earn points by reading books and taking online quizzes. There are so many tools within AR such as diagnostic tests, tons of reading reports, goal tracking, quiz creations and more.
When you log in as a teacher you have options on your dashboard above. I have my students take the Star Reading test about once a month. This test finds the students Zone of Proximal Development which we can use to find books at their reading level. Notice that you can create and add your own content if your book does not already have a quiz in the database. You can check what books are already apart of AR here: http://www.arbookfind.com/default.aspx. This is also a great resource to find interest books for students.
Below are some of my students reading goals. You can see how many points they’ve earned this quarter. My school has a prize store where students can use their points to buy toys, books, and school supplies. I have my daily reading time set to 25 mins since that is how long they have for independent reading in their Language Arts Rotations. You can see how their goals are calculated based off their ZPD, reading time, and goal % correct. My class needs to score an 85% or higher on their quiz to receive points for that book.
I let my class chose their own independent reading novels, but I noticed most of my class was struggling to meet their goals. So I started picking one picture book a week that was a 4th grade level and correlated with something we were learning. I made these weekly books required, and use their quiz scores as part of their reading grades. I’ve noticed my class earning more points, and many really enjoy the chance to read a good picture book. You can see my classes latest quiz results below – it is really easy to add them to my gradebook since they are all in order.
I had mixed feelings about AR when I first started using it. I was not a fan, until I started assigning picture books and could immediately see the change in my class. I highly recommend AR, there are hundreds of other features I didn’t mention – but that is the best part. Since it is such a customizable tool once you figure it out it fits very well into the classroom.