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#207889 - Thu Jan 08 2004 05:56 PM Accelerated Reader Program
BtVS404 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 29 2003
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Hey, does anybody at school have to do the Accelerated Reader Program? It's when books are a certain amount of points, and you have to get like 30 points by the end of the quarter. My school does it, and I don't like it. They don't have a good list of books. I used to like reading
A LOT! but now I don't because I don't like the books on the list.
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#207890 - Thu Jan 08 2004 06:12 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
lothruin Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
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Loc: Nebraska USA
When I was in school, way back when, over 10 years ago, (Geesh!) I participated in the accelerated reading program, but there wasn't a point system involved. They chose books for us to read, and we read them. The books were considered to be well above the reading level for whatever grade you were in, and you had to read and discuss a certain number of books in a semester.

The point system sounds interesting. I'd be curious to see how points were assigned to certain books.

If you don't mind my asking, what kinds of books are on the list that you don't like? I found that books I thought I wouldn't like but had to read usually ended up being enjoyable. The key is, you have to be willing to let yourself enjoy them. They might not be in your usual genre, or by your favorite authors, etc., but leave yourself open to the experience. Also, it may not seem so, but is useful to read what people consider "classics," even if you don't really enjoy them. You'd be surprised how much of today's society is based on books like this, and how often a comment is made that you understand only because you read a certain book, and otherwise would have been lost on you. Reading books, especially ones you wouldn't normally read, helps broaden your base of knowledge, and that can never be a bad thing. Perhaps if you keep those things in mind, you'll be able to chew through some of those less-than-appealing books.
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#207891 - Thu Jan 08 2004 06:27 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
BtVS404 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 29 2003
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Loc: Wisconsin USA
I do enjoy classic books, but not many are on the list. I like more fantasy books. I have found some books that I like, but I'd rather have more fantasies, or adventure. Most are just about teenagers, and their problems.

We have different reading levels, for books. Like Shakespeare is in the 12th grade reading level. The higher the level, usually is the higher the points. Like 'Les Miserables' is 105 points. Or if a book is really big, but isn't a really high reading level, it is more points. For example, the 'Harry Potter' books are around 20 points. They are around 5.4 reading level.

There are about 350 books on our list, next year they are going to have about 200 more, (so I've heard). You can also request certain books or authors, that you like, and the school, could possibly order them for you.
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#207892 - Thu Jan 08 2004 07:46 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
Mysterious_Misty Offline
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Posts: 293
I grew up on that system and hated it. Our school had plenty of books on the list, but it was just too competetive. A good sized novel was worth about 5-7 points, and some kids would have hundreds by the end of the year.

It was terrible! I of course didn't want to be left in the dust, and therefore was literally restricted to The List throughout my entire elementary career.
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#207893 - Fri Jan 09 2004 01:27 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
lothruin Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
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Is this some sort of competition? Is there a passing/failing element to it?

Ok, I remember those books about teenagers and their problems. Meant to help you understand that you are normal, and blah blah blah. Most of them are pretty useless. I myself have always preferred sci-fi and fantasy. Our tastes sound similar, so I'll make some recommendations of books I had to read for school that I actually really enjoyed.

Look for the authors Madelein L'Engle and Zylpha Keatley Snyder. L'Engle wrote the Wrinkle in Time and sequels, but also wrote a large number of "teenager" type books, less sci-fi but still very enjoyable. I recommend "Arm of the Starfish" in particular. Snyder wrote a book called "The Headless Cupid" that I thought was really good. Has a bit of an occult theme.

Also, look for John Bellairs, though that might be a little young for you at this point. (I read John Bellairs in 6th grade, and absolutely loved him. Amazon.com lists most of his titles as ages 9-12. I don't know if he has written anything for slightly older young adults, but you might see if his name is on your list.)

I loved the book called Ordinary People. The nice thing about that book is that it wasn't exactly written for teenagers. So, it describes a teenage-type problem without sounding preachy, like an after school special. Also a great movie.

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#207894 - Fri Jan 09 2004 06:12 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
BtVS404 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 29 2003
Posts: 297
Loc: Wisconsin USA
The AR Program isn't a contest. It is just a part of your grade for English Lit. class. You have to get 34 points by the end of the quarter, and how ever many you have is out of 34. So you get that percentage. You can also store some points for the next quarter, or get extra credit if you get more than 34.

I read 'A Wrinkle In Time' by Madelein L'Engle. The reading level was too low for me, so I couldn't take a quiz on it. My reading level is about 5.4 - 9.3. I think the book was 5.2 reading level? I read the 'Egypt Game' and 'The Witches of Worm' by Zylpha Keatley Snyder. I got points for them too!

I'll try to find some of John Bellairs' books on the list. And I'll try to find 'Ordinary People' too.
Thanks for the recommendations!
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#207895 - Fri Jan 09 2004 07:10 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
Mysterious_Misty Offline
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Registered: Fri Jan 25 2002
Posts: 293
Our school most certainly turned the program into a contest: for about half an hour at every one of our monthly assemblies the rank of each child was read aloud, and they were lined up accordingly.

Like I said, I just hated being restricted to only certain books, and especially the unnecessary competition, even though I was always a top-ranked reader. Reading should be more enjoyable at such an age!
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#207896 - Fri Jan 09 2004 09:03 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
BtVS404 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 29 2003
Posts: 297
Loc: Wisconsin USA
Yeah, I used to LOVE reading. Now I am kind of sick of it, because I read books that I don't enjoy. Can't wait until summer break, when I can read some books that I enjoy.
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#207897 - Tue Jan 13 2004 08:46 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Who determines a "reading level"? I've never seen one listed on an actual book, so it must be done elsewhere. Isn't something like that fairly subjective?

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#207898 - Tue Jan 13 2004 11:15 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
lothruin Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
Posts: 2165
Loc: Nebraska USA
Yes, it is subjective, but I believe that for the most part, it is recommended by educators. Understandably, there is standard curriculum in public schools. Each grade has a range of reading skill that most students are expected to be able to meet. Reading primers are compared to other books as far as difficulty of vocabulary and sentence structure, and also the level of comprehension required to read the book, and the reading levels are assigned appropriately.

The ranges are fairly wide. For instance, one of the authors I recommended has an average reading level of 9-12 years. It's fairly obvious that the "average" nine year old will probably have much lower reading ability than the "average" twelve year old, (averages like these are mostly based on aptitude tests) but some exceptional nine year olds would be fully capable or reading the same material as a twelve year old. Some even higher, of course, but on the bell curve, those children are very few and far between.

So, yes subjective, but also reasonable.
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Betty Kuzara 1921 - April 5, 2008
Ruth Kellison 1925 - Dec 27, 2007

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#207899 - Wed Jan 14 2004 09:43 AM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
But, where are they listed? Who develops this list? Is it world-wide, or would something be a "5" in one country and a "9" in another? If there's an overruling organization that determines this (across the nations - or even across a country, as this may vary as well), it'd be one thing. But, who's doing it?

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#207900 - Wed Jan 14 2004 11:30 AM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
lothruin Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 12 2003
Posts: 2165
Loc: Nebraska USA
Within the context of the reading program mentioned above, the list of books is probably chosen by educators specifically involved in the program, perhaps even in that school, and the levels of the books are most likely chosen by them as well, with specific regard to the average aptitudes of their students. Because this program is not even nationiwide within the US, I doubt seriously it has any international significance. It probably has barely more than local significance. I've never seen a reading level listed on any book not specifically intended for school curriculum. I believe THOSE reading levels, which differ from the above mentioned program's levels, are determined by the national educator's organization. I can't remember it's exact name.

If you look at almost any book-selling website, including Amazon.com, etc., you'll see age ranges for most youth literature. I imagine these levels are determined the same way, by comparing their average difficulty with national aptitude averages, etc. I can't presume these include international averages, as these books published in English might pose a more difficult read for non-English speakers, etc., so have no idea how or if they incorporate that.
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Goodbye Ruth & Betty, my beautiful grandmothers.
Betty Kuzara 1921 - April 5, 2008
Ruth Kellison 1925 - Dec 27, 2007

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#207901 - Wed Jan 14 2004 06:33 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
BtVS404 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 29 2003
Posts: 297
Loc: Wisconsin USA
Quote:

Who determines a "reading level"? I've never seen one listed on an actual book, so it must be done elsewhere. Isn't something like that fairly subjective?







Well, it isn't exactly the age you are. The reading level is determined by a grade level. (0.5-12.9) You take a STAR reader quiz, with grammar questions and after the quiz it tells you your reading level.


The AR list of books is, I'm asuming, different for every school. I tried looking up a list online, but the lists I found were different than my school's. The point values can be different and the reading levels can be different. They are usually similar though.

Does that answer anything?
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#207902 - Tue Jan 20 2004 01:09 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Found a website that explains it - http://www.renlearn.com/ar/howitworks.htm

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#207903 - Tue Jan 20 2004 02:14 PM Re: Accelerated Reader Program
BtVS404 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 29 2003
Posts: 297
Loc: Wisconsin USA
That is exactly what the quizzes are like. Of course they aren't all as easy as the sample quizzes.
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