Accelerated Reader Metter Intermediate/Middle School By: Carla Gregory Role of the Library Media Specialist •Organizes and shelves books •Purchases AR books •Purchases test for books •Creates tests on books Arrangement of Books •Books are still shelved based on Dewey Decimal Number (nonfiction) and authors’ last name (fiction) •All AR books have a colored dot on them based on the book level. •Red: 1.0-1.9 •Blue: 2.0-2.9 •Yellow: 3.0-3.9 •Purple: 4.0-4.9 •Orange: 5.0-5.9 •Green: 6.0-6.9 •White: 7.0-7.9 •Black: 8.0-8.9 •Brown: 9.0 and higher Policies • Students must choose AR books based on their STAR reading level • Students are not allowed to read below their level • Students can read above their level with teacher permission only • Students may not check out a new book until they have taken the AR test Incentives • Once students earn 5 points, a picture of them is taken. Their heads are printed and put on popsicle sticks and placed on a bulletin board. • The popsicle stick is moved up for these point intervals: 10, 25, 35, 50, 75, 100, 100+ • As students reach a milestone, names are read over the announcements More Incentives • When students reach 10 points, they receive a certificate • When students reach 25 points, they receive a free homework pass from their reading teacher • When students reach 35 points, they are rewarded with ice cream sandwiches • When students reach 50 points, they are given their first reading dog tag • When students reach 75 points, they are given another dog tag • When many students reach 100 points, they are given a pizza party • Students who have over 100 points are taken off campus for an activity (park, movies, bowling, etc.) Reactions: Media Specialist The media specialist does not like Accelerated Reader because she feels it limits students choices of reading material. They only want to read books that are AR. Also, many times students will not ask if they can read books above their level so she does not think they are challenged enough. She feels that the money spent on AR tests could be better spent buying more books. Reactions: Students Many students like AR because of all the incentives they receive. Others do not like it because reading is no longer for fun, but more like work because they always have to take a test. Also, there are books they want to read, but do not because they are not AR. Reactions: Teachers Some teachers love AR and think it is a great way to see if students are actually reading the books. However, most teachers think the administrative duties of AR take too much time. They also think that the tests are too easy and do not ask many critical thinking questions. Still others think that the STAR reading test, which is where students are given an AR level, is not a valid determination of the students reading level. Reactions: Principal The current principal does not like Accelerated Reader. However, because she does not have an alternative she is reluctant to give up the program. She thinks that it limits a student’s creativity since they cannot choose any book they want to read. She also feels that preparing a book report would be a better assessment of whether the student read the book. AR does not determine whether the child can identify all the narrative elements of the text. It also does not allow them to develop a deeper understanding or compare it to other literature or real-life experiences. Suggested Changes Based on the reactions of both students, teachers, and administrators, AR is not wellreceived by this school. Therefore, I would probably stop using the program. However, if they decided to continue the program, I would suggest they allow students to read other books and not put as much emphasis on the STAR test or on taking AR tests.