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Reading at light speed: Sixth grader reaches her goal

Sydney Koppelman is an Accelerated Reader who excelled.

By Anna Erickson

Park Rapids sixth grader Sydney Koppelman reached her goal of 1,000 points in the Accelerated Reader program this year.

Accelerated Reader is used in Park Rapids to encourage students to read. The software assesses a student’s reading level and suggests books. After reading a book, students complete questions about the book.

When she started school in the fall she had the 1,000 point goal in mind.

“I read before bed, sometimes during study hall,” Sydney said.

The goal took until the end of May to complete. Sydney said she reads all kinds of books and has liked fantasy lately. Percy Jackson is a favorite author she has read.

“It wasn’t hard,” she said of reaching 1,000 points. “I just had to read.”

Accelerated Reader gives both student and teacher feedback based on the quiz results that the teacher then uses to direct ongoing reading practice.

Students using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience.

Each student is initially given a computer-generated test/screening, called the STAR Test, to determine his/her AR reading level. Classroom teachers then inform students individually of the reading level he/she should be looking for in the Century School Media Center. Students learn how to find these books through a color coded system used in the Media Center.

Each book has a certain number of points based on length and difficulty.

The most points Sydney received for a book was 40.

This is the last year of Accelerated Reader for Sydney, which is the reason she set her goal of 1,000 points.

She will continue to read even though she’s not in the program, she said.

Connie Fondow, Accelerated Reader administrator, said it’s important that students continue reading now that summer is here.

“It’s really important to help with the summer slide,” she said. “Reading helps build vocabulary, enhances the imagination and increases the knowledge base.”

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561