Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Accelerated Reader Books - A Key To Better Reading Comprehension



Song:  Light

Artist:  Hans Zimmer



Accelerated Reader (AR) books have played a vital role in Alex's
ever increasing reading comprehension.

He was introduced to the AR books many years ago...
while still very young in Elementary School.

It involves a predetermined set of books from which to choose...
and a computer question and answer test at the conclusion of each book read.

The books are assigned points as to the difficulty level.

Minimum requirements for points accumulated over the school year are set...
and, often times, awards are given to students with the highest accumulated amounts.

Alex frequently amassed ten times the minimal requirements.

He reads everyday...
he has ever since he could first read.

Reading everyday is such a vital part of a child's education...
not just for the accumulated knowledge of the material read...
not even just for the increased reading comprehension...
daily reading allows reading, spelling, grammar...
even the thought processes behind the author's writing...
 to become intuitive.


This was Alex's library at our old home in California.



He would often spend hours just reading his books.

His mother kept it up to date and stocked with books on all subjects and interests.

He also had a mini-library in his room...
for his nightly bedtime reading.

He now prefers to read...
either at the table...
or more often...
in his favorite spot on the sofa.




His most recent read was this book from a child abuse survivor...
at the hands of his mother.

After reading the book...
Alex said that he was so glad that we take such good care of him.

Alex was so engrossed by the story...
he read it in two sittings.

Alex has always had a soft spot in his heart for other children and animals.

He felt so sorry for the child in the book.




The concept of evil is still foreign to Alex.
He has never suffered acts of evil from others.
He has read books of suffering from first hand accounts...
and it makes him sad to think how people could wantonly hurt others.

We are using texts...
and later, I shall show Alex the spectrum of human behavior through
certain movies and dramas to better prepare him for the aberrant behaviors
that he will have to face later in life.

Alex had gotten 100% on the subsequent test on this book.

He doesn't always get 100%...
he will often miss one or two questions.

However...
on books which move him...
or is of particular interest to him...
he usually gets 100%.

The particular value of AR books...
is that they stimulate the competitive drive naturally inherent in children.

They love to see how well they can do on tests...
and to be able to accumulate points which count for credit in school.

It gives them immediate and direct feedback as to their 
comprehension of what they had read.

Honest feedback is how a child may gauge his progress...
and make subsequent corrections.

If, for example, a child finds that he is missing key points of a book...
he may try reading it in smaller sections for a more full digestion
of the presented material.

With similar types of questions being asked of him on the tests...
he also soon learns which portion of the books are pertinent...
and he may then start paying more attention to those areas
of his reading which lead to a deeper comprehension of the books.

He will see the similar patterns of importance stressed by the questions...
and in this way, he may learn how to extract the important information 
from what he has read.

Alex was also particularly moved by the book:
The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas.

As Alex is particularly gentle...
these type of stories make him think on a deeper level
on the nature of the human condition.

For Alex to protect himself from evil in the future...
he has to learn the existence of it...
he has to learn the nature of it.

Through the use of AR books...
especially through books on history...
and biographies of the darker side of humans...
he is getting a true education in reading comprehension...
as well as into the human condition.

My wife also allows Alex to pick out books online that he wishes to free read
(he spends many hours a week just free reading...it is one of his favorite activities).

We always ensure Alex has a stock of interesting books to read.

Daily reading...
it is THAT important.







2 comments:

  1. My son and I go weekly to the public library and get a variety of books. He still mostly only reads at bedtime when my wife and I sit with him. I hope there will come a time when he picks up a book on his own and reads it for his enjoyment just on his own.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hopefully so. It is such a valuable mental exercise on so many levels. Perhaps the stimulation of his competitive spirit will spur him on.

    ReplyDelete

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