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Thank-you all for responding to my Target question regarding the use of
the Accelerated Reader, produced by Advantage Learning Systems Inc.

Most responses were extremely positive.  Comments such as:
"...one of the best incentive reading programs..."
"...motivates students to read."
"...inspired rugged 5th grade boys to read..."
   are representative of the enthusiasm expressed in the answers I received.

It was reported that for the most part teachers are very happy with the
program and its results.  In order for the program to be successful,
teachers have to back it up.

Following is a summary of recommendations I received for implementing
and/or using AR:
        1.  Purchase the Whole School Version (site license)
        2.  Success is dependent on teacher support
        3.  Purchase all diskettes for variety and freedom for the
                students to choose
        4.  Involve the administration
        5.  Get volunteers to help manage the record keeping part of the
        6.  Mark AR books with a sticker on the spine so the students can
                easily find them in the collection
        7.  Start small (one grade level at a time)
        8.  Encourage students to get a public library card to have
                quicker access to the collection
        9.  Do not put all the students' names on all the computers(They
                can take the same test on each computer.)
        10. Involve PTA or other parent groups in volunteering to help
                with record keeping and to help fund incentives and
                prizes for points earned
        11. Network the computers where possible
        12. Decide who is responsible for the management
        13. Decide what will the teacher's role in the program be
        14. Correlate purchase of test disks to what books are already
                 in the LMC collection
        15. Establish a committee to make decisions regarding AR
                management and use and responsibilities

Secondary school comments:
...Some students tried to cheat by taking tests on books read by teachers
in previous years or videos they had seen.  They were surprised that they
could not pass the test!
...Many teachers use the point system to be part of the reading grade.
...It can put a strain on the collection--allocate budget money to
increase AR collection.
...Reading comprehension scores have jumped considerably.
...It was more popular with the 6th graders than 7th and 8th.
...Reading comprehension scores have jumped considerably.
...It was more popular with the 6th graders than 7th and 8th.

Elementary school  comments:
...Use tests from all the levels 2-5th.
...You can create tests for books without a test on the disk.
...Provide incentives for the points earned.
...It was very successful in the 2nd grade.
...It was very successful in the upper elementary grades.
...Third graders loved the program.

I hope that this summary helps those of you who like me who are just
stepping into the world of the Accelerated Reader computer program.

Happy Reading!

                                The love of learning
Janie Braxdale                    the sequestered nooks,
janieb@tenet.edu                And all the sweet
                                  Serenity of books!
                                        --Henry W. Longfellow

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