AR can boost a student's comprehension, reading, vocabulary, and writing skills. It can in this way help prepare the students for upcoming tests. It can also improve reading levels, which helps quicken the pace of reading passages in tests. AR also saves the teacher time. They don't have to write tests or grade them. AR is an excellent way to help everyone.
Yes, middle schools should have kids read AR, because monitoring their AR abilities is a good way to learn how middle school students read. The AR program allows students to identify where they need reading improvement. Middle school might be the school's best chance to intervene, so this is a good program to help students become good readers.
Many school children will moan and complain, when they are given just about any type of assignment, but teachers can use AR as a tool, to promote a genuine love of reading, by engaging the students' competitive spirit, In the early days of the Accelerated Reading program, students were required to have passed a designated number of the tests, which meant that they were also assigned with a specific number of books, they were required to read, Once they completed their assignment, there were some, who continued onward, encouraged by their teachers, by the number of points they accumulated. In the Junior High library, the longest books, usually considered to be within high school reading levels, gave the student the largest amount of points, upon passing the AR test. Consequently, these competitive students developed a love of reading, while competing to amass the highest number of AR points, with the winner being treated to a prize, including the honor of earning their homeroom a celebratory pizza party, the week before summer vacation.
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AR makes reading feel like a chore. As a student who once participated in the program, I can confirm this. I adore reading, but AR sucked all the fun out of it. I just read long books at the beginning of the year to fulfill my points quota and then never took another test. If you still have problems with reading comprehension in middle school, you will continue to have these problems and forcing a skill you don not possess won't help one bit.