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  Our K-8 school has used the AR program for 7 years now and we have had
very good results with it.  We have had some cheating.
   I would suggest very close monitoring of the students when they come into
the library to take the tests, look over their shoulders every so often.
Also try not to have students take the same tests
at one time.
  When 6 members of a 7th grade class were caught cheating the teacher went
in and deleated their passwords and they could not take a test unless she
logged them in to the computer.
  Also, have the students keep a student log and monitor it closely.
Make sure you see the child reading from that book every day.  Use your good
judgement to make sure the child did not read the book too
fast.  If children read a very long book in a very short time and do well on
the test questions should arise.
   Don't let the students have the book in their lap during the test.
Young kids try to look the answers up.
   I am the librarian in a K-8 school and haven't seen a lot of cheating.
More often than not the most frequent problem at 7-8 level is the kids read
the book too fast, trying to get points, and then they fail the test.  We
need to stress accuracy not points, which is something I need to get our 8th
grade teacher to do.
                            Hope this helps,
                                Rachel Woodyer
P>S> Let me know if I can help in any other way.

The teachers have the ability to make test on books that are not in the
library.  We get together by department and we read 2 or 3 books each 9 weeks
and make a test. This gives the student an opportunity to read other books
that are more advanced.
Immokalee Middle

Starting AR:  By all means put AR on the network but limit where students
can take tests.  In the language arts rooms is the best option.  The library
is fine too.  We use the student's lunch card/library card numbers for
passwords.  I would highly suggest implementing the monitor password right
from the beginning and possibly disenabling the option of seeing missed
questions at the end of the test.  Reading logs can be  helpful as long as
teachers do consult individually with students frequently.  Don't limit the
reading level of books too much.   Many wonderful books for 7-8 grade have
4-5 reading levels.  Remember that reading choices should include fun reads
to make reading an enjoyable past-time.  AR incentives are good.  You might
run a store, you might have built-in rewards they get automatically for
achieving certain point or reading levels.  School contests are fun where
the entire school works toward a goal.  Emphasize that each student should
have individualized goals based on their abilities rather than one-size fits
all.  By all means make sure your LA teachers and principal are behind AR
100% or it won't work.  If you include AR for grades in anyway, make sure
parents know exactly how it contributes to their grade.  We use AR as part
of the English grade, worth only 10-20% but we get more flack from parents
over that than anything.  Give students time to read in class.  Have a wide
variety of books available.

IF I can think of other things, I'll let you know but most of all do what
works for your school and don't be afraid to try a lot of different things
until you find out what works for you.  Remember AR is as effective as how
you utilize the program.

Leslie Starasta, Librarian
Auburn Jr.High and High School
Auburn, IL 62615
(217) 438-6817

I am AR coordinator at my school.  HAve been for 4 years.  I have
discovered ALL the tricks by now.  E-mail at home jdkilcup@uswest.net, if
I can help in any way.

Good luck.

Debra Kilcup/Librarian
Meadows Elementary School
836 Deerbrush Dr SE
Olympia, Wa  98513
(360) 412-4695
FAX: (360) 412-4699
E-Mail: dkilcup1@mickey.esd113.wednet.edu

Jan--I have coordinated/administered AR at my school since 1987, and, while
it is true that some cheating can/does occur (as it would with any program
with multiple humans involved), it is overall a very successful program. The
success is entirely due to the way good teachers incorporates it within
their curriculum.

At my school (435+, grades 6-8), all the testing occurs in my library center
on 4 computers with one exception--one 6th grade teacher who has used AR
from the beginning has a computer in her room at her request. Other teachers
did not want to have to supervise while they were trying to have class.

All students need to have a permission slip filled out to test, with their
name, name of book to be tested on, date, and the signature either of
parent/guardian or a core teacher who is willing to state that they know the
child read the book. (This theoretically helps students and
parents/guardians communicate about what they are reading. Cynics will say
parents/guardians sign blindly without question whatever is put before them.
I tend to be an optimist.) When students come into the library, they sign up
at at specific signup area to test on AR, and their names are called in the
order they sign up to test at one of the 4 computers. Their form is checked
for all relevant information, then they are allowed to test. I, as well as
my student/adult aide, try to observe them to note any talking or other
suspicious activities. Since 3 of the 4 computers are standing stations,
students are to put any materials they have in their hands on the floor at
their feet so no question of papers or writing. Same for the 1 seated
station (to meet any handicapped/injured student's needs). If they are
keeping a reading log for a teacher, they can retrieve it and a writing
utensil only at the screen that shows how they scored for the test.

I print out mid-term reports and end of grading period reports for each
teacher/team involved in using AR (all students are entered), as well as
input new students and passwords. As for passwords, students choose their
own (after admonitions about security and using words that they will NOT
forget) unless they are suspected or proven to be attempting to cheat. Then
I assign a password that they do not know, and they must have me personally
input it each time they wish to test. This happens only once every two years
to one or two students usually. Of course, some cheating probably occurs
that I do not catch, especially if students give others their passwords to
take tests for them (which I have discovered in the past by comparing the
dated signin sheets with tests taken).

Even with the glitches that comes with working with middle school students,
some of whom will spend 3 times the energy to cheat than it would take to
read a book and test legitimately, the AR program works quite smoothly.
Since one of the two elementary "feeder" schools has had AR for the last 5
years and the high school now is in its second year of AR, it is as much a
part of the curriculum and accepted as such by parents/guardians and
students as math. One thing I started years ago to answer parent/guardian
questions or protests about the program was to create a Guest account so
that they could take AR tests to experience the program. I have even had
parents/guardians who read the same book as their child and tested to see
how they compared. (This from a parent/guardian who wanted to model for a
reluctant reader. It worked. Competition became fierce between two.)

Hope this has helped rather than confused you on starting AR. If you have
any further questions/concerns, feel free to contact me. Good luck!!

Dr. Christine McIntosh
Library Media Specialist
School Technology Coordinator
Bernheim Middle School
700 Audubon Drive
Shepherdsville, KY 40165
Phone: 502-543-7614
Fax: 502-543-8295

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