I love this post. I did a huge Accelerated Reader study for one of my courses in grad school. I found all of the same information you reported in your post. I did my own study too. At the time, my school required AR, but my principal let me not use it for a semester for my research. The results were amazing! Because I taught fifth grade, kids did not usually like AR by the time they got to me. Our grade level required 4 books to be read in a 9 weeks. The result-kids choosing the smallest books possible. For my research I did not use AR, but still kept track of everything my students read (so I could figure out the number of points it would have been worth without them knowing I was keeping track of it). Within only ten weeks, my class had read 498 points (not including newspapers, magazines, and books I couldn't find AR points on the internet for) worth and the two other classes had read 233 points and 316 points. I obviously had a lot more to the study, but after I presented my results, it was no longer required at my school.
By the way, I love all of your stuff and have been reading the most of the books you have recommended on reading instruction-I love it and can't wait to get a full year of teaching reading the way I now want to. Thanks for all of your great advice!
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