I’ve always considered myself a catalyst for change. You can ask any of my friends and they will tell you how animated I get when one begins to talk nerdy to me–just ask the teacher today who casually mentioned she had used moodle in a course this summer and discovered the beauty of Delicious and social bookmarking. Her eyes sort of glazed over as I responded with significant excitement dropping geeky term after geeky term on her (with eyes rapidly blinking, stuttering to share, arms waving, giddy with laughter and happiness — I’m sure scaring her to death!) I guess my passion sort of showed today. Hopefully tomorrow I can engage in a more professional conversation with her about how to embrace these tools she has learned about this summer, and perhaps help her harness them for her teaching context this year–with my help as a guide on the side. I will confess to her that I momentarily lost my mind today.
Elementary Query: AR Slump to Peak
Recently someone asked on our library listserv about Accelerated Reader and how to address the “AR Slump to Peak,” targeting elementary librarians. Since I am not in an elementary school, and even though I wanted to, I decided against responding…until now. Maybe this is a more appropriate avenue.
I will post the query in an edited form.
I am wanting to hear from elementary school librarians who have been in situations where the principal is not getting the results he/she wants from and with AR—especially when you don’t meet reading AYP—PROVEN ideas, suggestions, and strategies that have helped you to PEAK reading scores, reading interests, reading LOVE and enjoyment AND wanting to take the tests and get points….where you can SEE, OBSERVE, and MEASURE results from your attempts, pursuits, and hard work….I will say AR is something that I can take/leave… We all know some people think AR is the ” be all end all” and the answer to the reading woes and improve reading scores. I don’t see that happening. That’s all I will give from a personal standpoint.
What works? Reading. As an educator, we should strive to develop a love of reading, period. Reading begets reading. The key is making it enjoyable and finding the passion of interests, then cultivating them. It is why my oldest now 22 loves thrillers and mysteries, and my youngest now almost 20 loves biographies and facts. Because a teacher (and their parents) realized their passions and cultivated a love of reading through those passions.
(stepping off soapbox now.)Oh and p.s., if you’ve ever looked at the AR research, it says the same thing. Reading is what improves reading. (They just have a very convoluted view that quizzing and competition for points encourages all kids to read as well. I don’t dispute some respond to it, but I can vouch for the fact that my own kids did not like it at all, and unless forced through schoolwork or assignments, essentially avoided it.)
- Step One: Deep cleansing breaths
- Step Two: ….
Image: ‘More Laptop Stickers’