A. Purpose of the Study
“Reading is the motivated and fluent coordination of word recognition and comprehension” (Leipzig 2001). In the educational system, pupils are encourage to read books because of the belief that one becomes better at a skill based on the amount of time dedicated to that particular skill. Pupils must practice the skill learned and receive “frequent feedback (Samuel and Wu).” Practice is most effectual when it is individualized and accompanied with instruction (Renaissance Learning Inc 2007). Individualized practice, allows the pupil to work at his/her individual ability. It challenges the pupil instead of frustrating him/her. Accelerated Reader (AR) program provides individualize practice to each pupil to maximize academic success. The purpose of this study is to examine the affect of AR on first grade students’ comprehension scores on the End of the Year Assessment.
B. Significance/Importance of the Study
Accelerated Reader is a program used in several schools in the United States with the belief that each child has a prescribed practice based on hi/her reading ability. AR program is usually used in addition to the school’s core Reading Text. The AR program is said to increase students reading skills and “reduce achievement gaps” (Advance Learning System 1997). The program is a computer software that allows students to read a textbook and then take a computerize quiz on that textbook. Students are then given an immediate feedback of their score. It allows students the opportunity to view the items that were marked incorrect. Researchers believe that immediate feedback is very important for student achievement (Samuels and Wu). Being that many of our schools use AR, it is safe to assume several believe in the program’s claim to improve reading skills. Principal Sharon Kokemuller from Hawthorne Elementary claims, “ The use of Accelerated Reader in our school over the 8 years has dramatically increased our reading achievement (Renaissance Learning). This study will examine the use of AR to increase first graders comprehension score on the End of the Year Assessment.
C. Theoretical Framework
The theory associated with reading is that, the more one reads the better reader one becomes. Keeping this theory in mind, AR was designed around six “principles’. 1. Students need several opportunities to practice reading to become a better reader. 2. Benefits of reading are maximize, when practice is at a high level. 3. Students should read books that are at their reading level. 4. Students should receive immediate feedback. 5. Each students has a personalize goal for reading practice, reading level, and quizzes. 6. Teachers instruct students based on individual needs (Nunnery, Ross and McDonald 2009).
D. Research Question/Hypotheses
Does the use of AR increase first grade comprehension scores on the End of the Year Assessment?
E. Definitions of Special Terms
There are not any special terms