Thursday, April 7, 2016

Accelerated Reader (AR) and a FREEBIE!

     Do you use AR (Accelerated Reader) in your school?  My former school does.  I never made it part of my students' grade but the kids did receive prizes as they worked on their levels.

     For those of you who don't know what AR is...Accelerated Reader is a program that allows students to read and then get tested on their comprehension of the story.  Most books have been checked by AR for their "reading and testing level."  The students should choose books at their correct reading level and then answer 10 multiple choice questions on the book's content.  If you fail an AR test, you can not retake it.  Many schools make AR points part of their assessment and grade requirements.

     I have mixed feelings on AR.  I love the concept of children being rewarded for reading at their level and understanding the content of the book.  I completely dislike the idea of a school putting a
mandatory point requirement on grading.  Andrew, my oldest, is a very strong reader and LOVES reading.  Because of that, he tested in the high school AR level in 5th grade....NO 5th grader should be reading the same type of content as a high schooler.  Andrew's AR point requirement was so high that he usually had a hard time meeting it each quarter.  Trust me, he would read and pass his AR tests but the book points at his appropriate emotional level were so low that they fell short on the AR required points.  Then there was Chloe.  She's also a strong reader but can't stand reading!  For whatever reason (maybe she worked the system) but she was reading picture books in 5th grade to get her low AR points that were required!

     At our school, each child would have a different requirement of AR points, depending on their reading abilities.  I've also seen at other schools, that they require the same amount of AR points per quarter regardless of a child's reading ability.  Another BIG problem.  I really do like AR, just not as a mandatory part of school.  I think it's a great incentive for readers and ALL readers (regardless of their AR point value) should be rewarded for their successes.

You can find these labels HERE!
     BTW, our elementary school librarian used to reward kids for their AR successes.  She had prizes for kids when they reached different milestones with their AR points.  She also knew who struggled with reading and made sure those kids were NEVER left out of the incentive prizes!

     Regardless of how your school uses AR, you need to have your AR books labeled for the kids to find.  I created these cute AR labels to go on the spine of the books.  This way, kids can find their appropriate AR level when looking for books to read.  The labels are editable for you to type in the book AR level and AR points.  Or you can print them out as is and just write on the labels.  The bottom section of the labels are intended to be cut in half- so you can get 2 labels out of one for picture books.

     And here's your FREEBIE- an AR poster!

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