December 28th, 2009

Is Accelerated Reader really a good idea?

Accelerated Reader says it “guide[s] students to the right books.” It is “a ‘reading management’ software system that helps teachers track student reading through computerized comprehension tests and awards students points for books they read based on length and difficulty, as measured by a scientifically researched readability rating.”

Sounds good, right?

But one author who is also a mom looked closer. The fifth installment of the Gossip Girl series, I Like It Like That is given 8 points - which means it’s worth more than Hamlet (7 points). The author’s daughter pointed out that if students really wanted to get a lot of points, they should read Harry Potter. The Order of the Phoenix was worth 44 points. Another daughter, in an Advanced Placement class, was reading Frankenstein (17 points), The Remains of the Day (13 points), Heart of Darkness (10 points). Notice how together they don’t add up to the Order of the Phoenix?

Teacher says kids often won’t read books that aren’t on the list because they won’t get any points. And some say Accelerated Reader has increased reading among students, who like collecting points and getting prizes.

You can read the whole article here. If you are a teacher, I would be really curious to hear what you think about Accelerated Reader.

Curious after reading the article, I looked up Shock Point. 7 points. So not as high as that Gossip Girl (8 pts), but better than Hamlet (7).

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In which I am a walking math problem

My drugs:
- One that's once a day
- One that is every four hours
- One that is three times a day
- One that is no more than every 12 hours
- One that is no more than every six hours. This one is the best drug and also interferes with driving and sleeping.

Don't even get me started on with food or without.

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