Describe the program or project:
As a first-year special education teacher, I have quickly realized that my students are constantly challenged to find a book they can read independently. As a result, most of my students have developed a dislike for reading, and they rarely finish the books that they start.
Additionally, most of my students are reading below grade level which makes it difficult to supply a library with books of interest to everyone. I am hoping that through this grant, I am able to provide my students with a plethora of interesting books that motivate each of them to read daily!
Reading with my special education students used to result in frustration and dejection; however, after a year of being encouraged to read daily, they are finding what a relaxing and enjoyable activity reading can be.
At Truckee Elementary, Accelerated Reader is implemented daily, in every classroom. The goal of Accelerated Reader is to transform our students into lifelong readers and to guide them into starting a book, finishing a book, and taking a comprehension quiz -which is tracked based on their goals. These important goals have been reached by following certain objectives on a daily basis in the classroom through assistance from both teachers and peers.
Number of Students: This grant could potentially affect all special education students at Truckee Elementary. Each year the Transitional Kindergarten through 3rd-grade group of special education resource students, is roughly between 20 and 26 students. This grant will fund a library of books to last for many years to come.
Program Objectives: Accelerated Reader is a cloud based daily progress-monitoring tool, appropriate for students regardless of ability, which enables teachers to guide students to appropriate books and hold them accountable for their independent reading access. Through data generated by quizzes presented in a friendly, inviting format, Accelerated Reader helps teachers closely monitor several types of reading practice -including reading aloud, paired reading, and independent reading.
Measure of Success or Achievement: Accelerated Reader improves student motivation by offering them autonomy and independence as they practice reading. Students self-select books rather than having books assigned. Accelerated Reader offers more than 192,000 quizzes, including over 89,000 nonfiction titles which provide a ready resource for meeting new standards for more nonfiction reading. For early readers, nearly 6,000 titles have three-question Reading Practice Quizzes in English designed to help measure comprehension of short early-reader title. Additionally, most titles have an accompanying Recorded Voice Quiz. Limited English Proficient students face the challenge of learning in English as they learn English. More than 10,000 Reading Practice Quizzes in Spanish are available for best-selling Spanish titles. Recorded Voice Quizzes in Spanish enable English learners who are beginning readers to take quizzes on their own. Additionally, there are more than 600 titles with three-question Reading Practice Quizzes in Spanish.
Methods of Implementation: Students at Truckee Elementary have daily Accelerated Reader time, which requires 15-30 minutes of reading. I also encourage my students to read at home with their parents, or independently every night. I believe that encouraging students to try out new books, and maybe find a love of reading, will benefit them as they move to higher grades. Adding new books to our classroom will increase their excitement of reading, rather than having them dread it, which many do now. It may even encourage families to develop a new sense of reading as they see their children bringing home new books to read.
Could this grant tie into your PLC: Yes. This program will provide Special Education teachers with another tool to use for students that struggle with reading and are not responding to other methods. As struggling readers begin to improve their skills, they are more likely to access the core curriculum which also ties into our participation in our Special Ed PLC’s and our site grade level PLC. In addition, this grant will provide our program with a sufficient library of up to date, interesting books to enhance self motivation in all students.