Re: To Carolyn

    On 11/01/09, Deb ms/IA wrote:
    > Are you really a teacher?

    Yes, I am. BUT, I am also still new, so I am still learning.

    You seem to have a hard time
    > comprehending many things, AR being on of them. I'm serious. Your
    > unwillingness to work at find a way to make something work makes it
    > hard to believe you are a teacher. Other things in your post make
    > me wonder too.
    > Answers in line
    > On 10/31/09, The RIGHT Carolyn wrote:
    >> I don't "HATE" it, I just don't see how it improves reading
    >> comprehension or motivation.
    > You have not worked with AR nor been trained in any of it to see
    > anything work. You and your schools use of this program are making
    > it NOT work.

    I agree. The person in charge of running AR has been put in charge of
    technology at my school. I only set the goals and allow students to
    take AR tests -- she compiles all the data. In fact, I haven't even
    been able to get onto the system to check, because my password does not

    >> Ironically, I just received an email from a parent upset with me
    >> over the AR report her child is getting. As a result of her
    >> student not "understanding" he was supposed to do AR this past
    >> quarter, he received a "not meeting goals" on his report card.
    > If you are this students teacher did you not put the grade on this
    > report for AR? If you did not then direct the parent to the
    > correct teacher for an explanation. Did you not have this child
    > for this past quarter? There are quarterly goals set for each
    > child based on their grade equivalent. If you are monitoring AR
    > you know if your students are doing this. I knew how all 100 of my
    > 8th graders were doing in meeting their goals. You should know the
    > goals.

    Again, I do not assign them a grade, the technology person runs the

    >> Now, I READILY admit I did NOT tell him he was to be doing AR. I
    >> assumed he already knew what it was. See, that's the problem I am
    >> having. The person who is compiling the data and basically
    >> running the system did not inform me that I was actually "in
    >> charge" of the students reaching their goals. Hence, a new
    >> student to the school who didn't know a darn thing about AR went
    >> the entire quarter clueless about it (as was I).
    > Why wouldn't you tell a new student about goals and goal setting
    > for AR? Why are you clueless?

    This was a new student who I falsely assumed understood and was aware
    of AR. I admitted I erred on this. We're back on track now for this

    You have complained on this board
    > for weeks (months?) now about AR. So go to the person in charge
    > and bone up on AR. Ask how to get on the site to monitor their
    > goals and progress. Ask how goals are set up. You have been given
    > advice on this yet you are still here complaining instead of taking
    > an active rolol in this process.

    I HAVE been given information about it, but it had to come through my
    team teacher, because the person who USED to do it, has no time or
    desire to sit down and explain how it works. This person's training for
    me was "Set their AR goals." PERIOD.

    >> That's the reason why I do not like the way this system is set
    >> up. We are reading a novel in class and the students are fully
    >> comprehending this novel. THAT is more accurate of a
    >> comprehension measurement to me, as a teacher, than a software
    >> program with 22 questions in it. I don't understand how a student
    >> who gets an A from me in regards to the standard "demonstrates
    >> literal comprehension" in MY class, can fail that on an AR test.
    >> Does this make sense?
    > I, m sorry how do you know that the class is fully comprehending
    > the novel you are reading aloud? Do you give weekly tests?
    > Chapter tests?

    We discuss it to death, using various forms of differentiation. I don't
    give M/C tests or T and F. They know it because there is no way they'd
    do well on these tests if they didn't know it.

    Have you pulled vocab from the book and
    > quizzed/tested over it?

    Yep, I have.

    How do you have a clue as to who is
    > comprehending what? Your fast readers are bored to tears and have
    > already finished the book if they have a copy.

    We read it as a class, then move on to other LA tasks. We're still
    reading the book, 1-2 chapters at a time. I wouldn't say they are bored
    either, since they are doing supplemental exercises in relationship to
    the books they are reading (For example, the 7th graders had to
    research and write an essay on an epidemic in response to the topic
    they were reading about in Fever 1793)

    Your slow readers
    > are dreading this book but hey it takes up class time so no biggie
    > and they don't have a personal stake in the book you chose.

    Wow, you're really making an uninformed judgment, aren't you? As a
    matter of fact, they do, seeing as how the theme of Tuck Everlasting
    blends in very well with the religious tenets of my school. The debate
    about living forever versus going to heaven has been readily discussed.

    >> I also had a student who took NUMEROUS AR tests, and failed MOST
    >> of them. So, she's not comprehending them either. Is it MY fault
    >> she's not comprehending books she's read independently? No, it is
    >> not. Is it my job to analyze the data and "fix" this problem?
    >> Yes, it is. Is that fair? No, it is not.
    > Just because a student took numerous tests doesn't mean she read
    > the books!

    I agree!

    Do you do a status of the class and actually monitor
    > what books students are reading?

    Nope, the list is too expansive -- that's why it is "independent" reading.

    Do you guide students who fail
    > two tests in a row? Do you do book recommendations to meet the
    > needs of your readers? Its not your fault for her failure but it
    > is your fault for not having the program explained and taught how
    > to use it and then let kids spend over 9 weeks without direction
    > and guidance from you.

    Yep, it was my fault.

    >> I have been given NO guidance, except for my co teacher who went
    >> over the reports with me, on AR this past Friday. I have tried
    >> numerous times to access the information, but cannot even sign on
    >> to the system. Yet, I am being expected to monitor this and fix
    >> issues on books I haven't read myself? THAT is my overall issue I
    >> have with this.
    > GO AND ASK! Take some initiative instead of coming here to biotch
    > and moan!!!!!
    I have asked three times now. I also have two computers that freeze up
    on me. All the same person is responsible for these issues, none of
    which have been resolved.

    >> By the way, the parent told me that her child told her that a lot
    >> of the kids in my school are going to see the movie versions of
    >> the book, then taking AR tests for points. Since I consider this
    >> cheating, I consider this evidence that AR is not an accurate way
    >> to measure reading achievement. I can safely bet that many, many
    >> students across the country are doing that very same thing --
    >> cheating by seeing the movie just for the sake of wracking up
    >> their point totals.
    > Almost ALL of the AR quizzes for books have been redone, edited and
    > changed so that kids watching the movies cannot just watch the
    > movie and take a test.

    Hey, that's what I heard from a parent. Not my words.

    The previous poster stated that when they
    > do that they will not score well. I have seen about a 40 percent
    > on those who do cheat. They can't pass the book and they bring
    > down their average. They learn the lesson and they usually don't
    > do it again! At least in 8th grade. They do not get any points
    > from failing the test!!! The joke is on them and their cheating.
    > Please go seek out help with this program and for your complaining.
    > It is getting old!
    I have, and I understand it way better. In the grand scheme of things,
    I am still not convinced that a bad AR grade is going to permanently
    affect a student's success in life. Live and learn.

    > Deb ms/IA
    Finally, I suggest you do not make false judgment calls and question my
    teaching status. I am certified as an HQT teacher and have my state
    license as evidence. I am also a teacher consultant for the National
    Writing Project, have my Bachelors degree in Speech Communications,
    have worked as a writing tutor, on line proofreader and editorial
    assistant. Anything else you need to supply the evidence that I am
    qualified to teach this subject?