Implementing the Accelerated Reader Program in First Grade
My first graders begin taking AR quizzes during the second half of the year. We also participate in the Pizza Hut Book It Program, so I have students log books they read on the back of their monthly reading calendar. Then I record their AR quizzes next to the book in the log. At first glance this system seems organized and efficient, but don’t be fooled. I don’t have it all together, but I am happy to report that there is a glimmer of hope .
My AR Woes
My students turn their reading calendar and AR log in at the end of each month. Inevitably, I get a backlog of quizzes that need to be taken and recorded. I used to take my students to the computer lab to take their AR quizzes. Getting them all logged on is the first hurdle, (because contrary to popular belief kids really aren’t as technology savvy as they are made out to be.) Next, they have to click on the icon for Renaissance Learning, and log into AR. Then, they have to find a quiz, which requires them to type in the title, author or quiz number. At this point, I would frantically run around feverishly typing in titles. (My lower back screaming as I hunched over each student). While in the process of typing in titles for them, some students would begin finishing their quizzes, so then I would have to run around and record their scores. At the same time, I would be troubleshooting headphone issues for students who needed to have the questions read to them.
It was complete and total chaos.
I didn’t know how to fix my system, until now.
Thank Goodness, There’s an App for That!
When I received my iPad at the beginning of the school year, I downloaded the app for Accelerated Reader. I kept it in the back of my mind as something to experiment with in the future. As the time came to have my students begin to take AR quizzes, I decided to give it a whirl. I was worried it would difficult to set up; however, all I needed to do was plug in my schools’s special URL for Accelerated Reader and have students log in. So far, I am very impressed with the usability of this app.
Things I Love About Using the AR App
1. Students don’t have to type to search for a quiz. They can use voice recognition, and simply speak the title or author into the search bar.
2. The need for headphones is eliminated with the iPad, since it has built in speakers.
3. It keeps track of students’ quizzes on a bookshelf. On their shelf yo use their score, and rating.
4. Under the “Progress” tab you can quickly see how students are doing!
5. They can use the app on their home devices also.
6. The iPad is always with us, whereas, we only get the lab for 45 minutes a week
1. I only have 1 iPad, but having students use it as they come in or finish work early seems to be working well.
2. There isn’t a teacher app, so you still need to log in via the website.
How do you manage AR in your classroom?