Accelerated Reading prog. planned for specialist sec.schools

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g.carter
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Accelerated Reading prog. planned for specialist sec.schools

Post by g.carter » Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:29 am

The Times Education Corresondent, Alexandra Blair, reports that :
'A pioneerng reading programme will be introduced to all 2,500 specialst secondary schools.
Renaisssance Learning uses multiple-choice quizzes to engage children in reading books...a cursory google of ldonline + search shows a limited enthusiasm for the programme but with more than one contributor saying
that it has helped increase the interest in reading.

Sir Cyril Taylor, chairman of the specialist schools and academies Trust says that 'too many ll year olds are leaving primary shool without being able to read. One hundred fifty thousand children a year going into secondary schools who can't read,' he said. 'It's unacceptable. So we think this is where a very bright light has to be shone on the whole literacy problem and it needs to be a high-priority item."

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:48 am

We're now a 'specialist school'. Does that mean we'll get this software?

If it offers interesting, decodeable reading matter, free, I'll be glad to use it to supplement the SP work I do with our 'strugglers'.

But I'm very much afraid that it is yet another pointless initiative from the 'immerse them in books (that they don't have the skills to read) and they'll soon discover the Joy Of Reading' lot.

What a waste!
So we think this is where a very bright light has to be shone on the whole literacy problem and it needs to be a high-priority item."

OH NO!!!!!!!! Not the SEARCHLIGHT................................................ :mrgreen:

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Peter Warner
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Post by Peter Warner » Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:56 am

maizie wrote:
yet another pointless initiative from the 'immerse them in books (that they don't have the skills to read) and they'll soon discover the Joy Of Reading' lot.
It is astounding, isn't it. How people who label themselves 'teachers' justify not giving their students reading instruction is unfathomable. There are internationally renowned 'experts' in second language acquisition who promote stocking schools in Japan with English books as superior to any actual instruction. It takes an educated person to be so foolish.

Spoken speech is a natural skill, acquired universally simply by exposure. Written speech is not. Teachers shouldn't be afraid to teach.

Best regards, Peter Warner.
Peter Warner
Nagoya, Japan

English in Japan
[url]http://www.english-in-japan.com[/url]

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10

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Susan Godsland
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Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:08 am

Renaissance Learning has come up on the board before:

http://www.rrf.org.uk/messageforum/view ... enaissance

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:29 am

Thanks, Susan.

I've checked out the previous thread.

I am always deeply suspiscious of computer based 'comprehension' tests. They have to be multiple choice, so that immediately raises the chances of getting a 'right' answer completely by accident, and I don't believe that the choice of responses can be finely honed enough to really weed out lucky guessing.

However, as we are a 'specialist' school, we might well get this stuff, so I'll be able to judge for myself!

jenny
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Post by jenny » Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:39 pm

I wonder if the so called experts who devise these programmes realise just how difficult struggling readers find reading from a computer screen. As someone who always has to print out drafts of the reports and papers I write as I cannot proof read from the screen I am very dubious about the value of sustained periods of reading from a screen. (-and I hope they use a better font than the Electronic Library!)

usateacher
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Accelerated Reading prog. planned for specialist sec.schools

Post by usateacher » Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:00 pm

Jenny:
We have Accelerated Reader at my school. This is simply a computerized reading incentive program consisting of quizzes on thousands of books. The kids read regular books and then take a quiz on that book on the computer. The font used in the quizz is very large and is blue on a yellow background. There is only one question on the screen at a time. It is very easy to read the questions on the computer. The quizzes consist of 10 multiple choice questions.

This is an expensive program for schools to buy. My school uses the networked version. That means kids can log onto any computer in my school and take quizzes. All data is stored on the main server in the school. AR does have stand alone versions for single classroom use.

The program is very user friendly and the Renaissance Learning company offers, at a cost, excellent tech support. Teachers can print out many different kinds of reports on each student, a class or the whole school.

Quizzes must be bought in batches of 20 and run about $2.75/quiz. All quizzes can be bought online and then AR simply sends them to you electronically. Very efficient.

Teaches can write their own quizzes and put them into the program. This is very easy to do.

I think the software will search the school's library computer database and print out a list of books that match the quizzes AR sells.

AR adds new books all the time. The leveling of the books is done by the manufacture who sells them not AR.

The books that Dick Schutz talks about from SWRL/BRI have quizzes in AR for sets 2-6. I have written quizzes for some of the uppper sets for students using the BRI reading program.

AR is only a program to encourage kids to read. It does not teach them to read. Kids can get discouraged because teachers do limit their choice of books to match the student's reading level.

AR sells book labels for all the books that they have quizzes for. The teacher or librarian puts the lables on the books. Kids then know exactly what level each book is.

If this is what a school wants this program does what it is designed to do very well.

Kathy
USA teacher

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