I’ll admit it: I have concerns about accelerated reader. Now, don’t shoot the messenger! Just consider the following:

  1. Accelerated reader doesn’t track skills. If you’re using it to figure out whether kids are growing skill wise, it’s not equipped to give you that information. 
  2. Its numbers are really broad. Parents and teachers alike will say, “I have kids that grew from 6 to 7, or 7 to 8, but what does that really mean, skill-wise? 
  3. The numbers don’t tell us what to do next. If I have a kid that’s not reading at the right level and needs an accelerated reader – well, what are they missing? What skills should I focus on? What’s getting in the way of comprehension? It doesn’t help me out!
  4. It can give false data! Because teachers all use it differently. Some let kids retake tests. Some let kids rack up points by choosing texts that they can read easily. 

With all of that, I’m just not sure that accelerated reader more than a motivational tool is worth using in the classroom.

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