December 2, 2009

ACR Rant

I had a teacher come down and tell me that one of her students was reading books at too low a level for her. She is a fifth grade girl and the books in question are the Percy Jackson books. I am so pissed about this that I can barely see straight. First of all, so what if these are too low (according only to the Accelerated Reading program) for her, if she is enjoying them WHY NOT LET HER READ THEM? What does this teacher expect her to read, Pride and Prejudice? This is the exact reason that I hate the accelerated reader program, but it has my over a barrel. Because my third, fourth and fifth grade teachers use it so much with their classes students won't even check out some books if there is not test. ONE teacher uses it in a good way, if I do not have a test for a book, but she knows a students reads it, she will give them the points as if there is a test. I am just so fired up about this and I want to run down and rant at my principal, but I am getting some of it out here so that I can talk to him with more logic rather than just rage.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Jana,

    Thank you for being such an awesome librarian!

    Those books were designed by a teacher to be used with 6th grade mythology curriculum. The reading level is not difficult because Rick wanted students with learning differences to be able to read the series. The content is not for students below 4th grade. You are not the only librarian to have trouble with their students' accelerated reading program while reading these books. I'm not sure what to suggest to change the school district or teacher's opinion except to present some information from Rick's website that this is a book for middle readers. Some teachers are just not going to like these books because they think that they are too pop culture. These books are often used in classrooms from elementary to high school because many teachers find great success using these books to help students "get into" a subject that can be very boring. Good luck.
    Becky

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  2. I'm right there with ya! It sooo frustrates me when teacher MAKE them read at their level. And it frustrates me more when a student won't read a book he/she would really really like to read because it's not AR or its not their level. Thankfully this hasn't been a problem in my school - fingers crossed it stays that way.

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  3. I know your problem. I have struggled with this for five years now and finally this year my principal said no to AR. It is amazing what the kids can't do - they have no idea how to pick out a book. All they wanted before was something in their level. They didn't care if they were interested in it or anything else. I did try to explain to a teacher once how a readability level is assigned to a book...I have the graph/formula somewhere. I showed her how Danielle Steel's novels (something she loved) were written at a fourth grade level. She was just amazed, but she still didn't quite understand how content isn't taken into consideration when books are leveled.

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