Life Without AR

In case anyone was sitting at home worrying why I haven’t been posting (haha), I have been hard at work! I’ve been getting some things ready for Daily 5 and CAFE, and a few other things. I don’t really want to post details until that’s all done. I’m going to work in my classroom on the 30th and hopefully will post some pictures and upload some documents that day.

Anyway, I want to post today about Accelerated Reader (AR). I’ve done AR in my classroom for the last 6 years. AR is a program online where students search for books they read and take basic comprehension quizzes based on the books.

Not everyone is a fan of AR. It isn’t perfect, but I do think it serves a purpose. AR makes sure that the kids are actually reading the books they say they are reading (ACCOUNTABILITY!). It brings comprehension issues to my attention. It also provides a way to keep track of what students read. You can print lovely reports. Parents can have emails sent to them showing their child’s progress.

Now I don’t have AR and I’ve been freaking out a little. What I REALLY wish existed was Goodreads for kids, but it doesn’t exist.  I thought making a blog or doing something on Edmodo and I googled other reading websites but wasn’t thrilled with any of that. I also don’t want to bog the kids down by making them do a ton of writing after they finish a book. We do plenty of writing in class. I just want a quick, easy way to keep track of what books each student is reading.

In the end, I came up with an old-fashioned form for kids to fill out. It is quick and easy. I’ll put it in their binder with their planners so they have it with them all the time. They just fill out the number of the book (to track how many books they read throughout the year), the title, author, date finished, and book level. Then they color in the star rating that they give the book and describe it with an adjective or two. They also write the number of pages in the book and there’s an extra space for any other information they want to add.

The downside is that this definitely does not guarantee that the student actually read the book or understood it. I’ll conference with kids about what they read and hope for the best!

Here’s the download if anyone wants it! Sorry it isn’t cute. I wanted to fit 4 on a page so there wasn’t room for cute stuff.

Book Form

Categories: Beginning Year Stuff, New Classroom, Summer Work | Leave a comment

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