Dear Google, You Should Have Talked to Me First

I’m so glad this wasn’t around when I was a kid.

teach from the heart

Dear Google,

I wish you’d talked to teachers like me before you made that $40 million investment in Renaissance Learning.

I’ve seen the damage Accelerated Reader can do.

I witnessed it for the first time when I tutored a struggling 5th grader…eighteen years ago.

He hated to read.

He hated being locked into a level.

He hated the points associated with the books.

But more importantly, he was humiliated when he didn’t earn enough points to join in the monthly party or get to ‘buy’ things with those points at a school store full of junky prizes.

I’ve seen kids run their fingers along the binding of a book, a book they REALLY wanted read, but then hear them say, “But it’s not an AR book,” or “It’s not my level.”

I’ve watched them scramble to read the backs of books or beg a friend for answers so they can get…

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2 thoughts on “Dear Google, You Should Have Talked to Me First

    • Agreed. When I was a kid, we were given tickets for each book that we read. There wasn’t a list of “approved” books. We just read the book and usually had to write a small summary of what the book was about, usually 2-3 paragraphs. Then we would get tickets that could be redeemed for a couple of things, such as getting out of one homework assignment, having the teacher bring in lunch for us from McDonald’s or something, boost our grade on an assignment by one level (from a B- to a B) or a whole level (from a B- to an A-). Obviously some were worth more than others, but it encouraged kids to just read. Our classroom even had a little “reading tree house” that you could hang out in before and after class. This whole “level” system is ridiculous to me, because any type of reading is better than NO reading.

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