Learning is Change


The Accelerated Reader reading program has been a part of the Cresthill Language Arts curriculum for a number of years now (5+) and has proven to be an effective incentive for students to read more outside of school than they would normally. However, it does not go far enough to make sure that all students will be successful with independent reading. Over the past two years at Cresthill, the Language Arts department has overcome the shortcomings of computer-based AR tests as the only means of assessing comprehension by introducing AR+. This program keeps in place the ease of reading books and taking tests for those who find that satisfying, but it adds another component for those who don’t. This component allows students to read many texts that do not have an AR test, while still holding students accountable for their reading. Our hope is that this creates a more authentic reading experience for more students, that it promotes good reading habits, and that it fosters a true love for reading. AR+ uses working documents to guide its implementation. You will find the latest versions of contracts and guidelines on this page. You should be able to view these documents from your web browser, but these versions are somewhat limited in the way they can be displayed. If you would like to read the documents as they were created, please download them.

AR+ Documents for the 2007-2008 school year:

AR Promises of a Discovery student:

  • I will only read material that interests me. If I am stuck in a book, magazine, newspaper that adds no value to my life, I will stop reading it and find something more to my liking.
  • I will have reading material every Thursday in Homeroom and Friday in ELT. I understand that there will be Work Habits consequences each time I am caught without something to read.
  • If I don’t know what to read next I will consult Mr. Wilkoff, my classmates, the Discovery Bookshelf, or the AR+ resource page for recommendations. I know that the excuse of “There isn’t anything good to read” is completely ridiculous.
  • I understand that in order to receive my AR points with for non-AR test books, I must complete the AR+ portion. This is to insure that I more directly interact with the shorter texts. Just like I can only take one test per day, I will only be able to turn in one of these AR points writing pieces per day. Because of this, I will not wait until the end of the quarter to start them.
  • I will not hesitate to discuss what I am reading with Mr. Wilkoff or my friends because I know that this is what good readers do to get as much as I can out of my reading.

Cresthill Owned AR Tests:

  • The Test List is extremely large. As you have noticed, these are not the only books that you can read for AR+, but they are still the backbone of the program. Read as many of them as you like.

Book Recommendation Resources:

  • A well categorized list of books that kids would enjoy. Some of these may be a little too easy for you, but I found most of their recommendations rather interesting.
  • All of the top new Young Adult books for the last ten years. This isn’t the most user friendly list of books, but they are all pretty great recommendations.
  • What should I read next. This site allows you to put in the name of your favorite book and it will give you other ones that are like it.
  • TeenReads.com. This site is almost self-explanatory. It recommends books for teens to read. It also has interviews with authors who write Young Adult books. The reviews section is my favorite, though. I can really figure out what a book is about by reading a good review, and this site has some great reviews.
  • Favorite Teenage Angst Books. This site is dedicated to those of you who are a little bit angry at the world, rebelious for any variety of reasons, or just looking to read a good book about modern teenage life. This site is very well organized and here you can find cool books that you would never have heard of otherwise. WARNING: a couple of these books are not going to apeal to you. Not all middle schoolers are interested in the same things you are. If you read a review that disgusts you, please calmly move on to something else.
  • LibraryThing. Only go here if you have a lot of time to look. This is a social network for book lovers. You can search for young adult books and read reviews and see how many people like a book and look at all the different editions a book has and talk about your favorite books and on and on and on. You don’t have to sign-up to participate, but this site can be a lot of fun if you do.
  • Mrs. McDermott’s 8th grade book club. Here is a chance to see what other middle schoolers are reading right now, and to see what they thought of each book. Their review system is very similar to ours, and it isn’t by mere coincidence.
  • GuysRead. This site is mostly just for guys to find books that they would like. Sometimes guys have a harder time getting into a book because the book wasn’t necessarily written with them in mind. Well, all of the books recommended here are ones that are guy approved, but that doesn’t mean that girls can’t enjoy them too.
  • StoryCode. Here you an search for a book that you have already read and it will recommend other books that you might like. You can also set up an accont if you want and get and give book recommendations as much as you want.
  • ConnectViaBooks. This is easily the most interactive book recommendation website I have found. You tell the site which books you have read (starting off with one of your favorites) and it will recommend other books that are like all of the ones that you have said that you have read. It is kind of like Pandora.com for books.
  • Literature-Map. Search for your favorite author and it will show you visually how similar other authors are to your author. This is a great way to find other authors that write like your favorites.
  • Math Fiction. If you like to read, but you also like numbers, there are a whole bunch of books out there for you. Here is the best collection of novels, comic books, plays, and more all about numbers, geniuses, and math concepts. It’s not for everyone, but it may be for you.
  • Math Videos Online provides a large collection of free animated math videos

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