What is Accelerated Reader (AR)?
AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his own level and reads it at his own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. Children using AR choose books to read within an appropriate reading level. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. Teachers and librarians help your child choose books at an appropriate reading level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success. If your child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher may help him:
• Choose another book that is more appropriate.
• Ask more probing questions as your child reads and before he takes a quiz.
• Pair your child with another student to read a book together.
In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they’re reading books at their reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.
How much will my child read during the school day?
According to research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day with a 90% comprehension rate (average percent correct) on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, your child should have at least 20 minutes set aside for reading during each school day.
How can I help my child become a better reader?
As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookstore on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading, and discussing books that each of you has read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child’s age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning, and creating a loving relationship between you and your child. Make learning a family affair!
What if my child doesn’t like reading?
Using Accelerated Reader, your child will choose the books he wants to read. The teacher will make certain the book is at the right level so that after completing the book, your child should do well on the AR Reading Practice Quiz. Success on the quiz will encourage your child to read more. With guidance from the teacher, and success, even students who say they don’t like reading will develop a love of reading.
Will my child have to read a book I don’t want him to read?
No. There are many, many choices of books at your child’s level. He will never be forced to read a book you
How does the school determine my child’s reading level?
Teachers determine your child’s reading level by administering the STAR Reading™ test. Your child’s reading level will grow throughout the year. Teachers will monitor the growth and adjust the reading level accordingly.
What is a STAR Reading test?
STAR Reading is a computerized reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 10 minutes.
What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
In independent literature-based reading, ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a STAR Reading test. It’s important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within their ZPDs. ZPDs are adjusted based on the needs of your child.
What are points?
Point equal practice and practice is important to becoming a proficient reader. Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a point value. AR points are computed based on the difficulty of the book (ATOS readability level) and the length of the book (number of words). For example, the Berenstain Bears books, which are about 1,000 words long and have an average book level of 3.5, are 0.5-point books. Hank the Cowdog, which is about 23,000 words long and has an average book level of 4.5, is a 3-point book. The Sun Also Rises, about 70,000 words long and at a book level of 4.4, is a 10-point book. Children earn points, or a portion of a book’s points, depending on how well they do on the Reading Practice Quiz. For example, a child who takes a 5-question quiz on a book worth 1 point will earn 1 point for 5 correct answers (100 %), 0.8 point for 4 correct answers (80%), etc. A child who reads a book worth 5 points and takes a 10-question quiz will earn 5 points for 10 correct answers (100%), 4.5 points for 9 correct answers (90%), etc. A child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 60% or higher to earn points.
How many Accelerated Reader quizzes are there?
There are over 140,000 AR quizzes available. Your school has purchased Accelerated Reader Enterprise, so it will have access to all quizzes.
How will I know if a book has an AR quiz?
To know which quizzes your school has available, contact your child’s teacher or librarian, as schools may not have purchased all quizzes. You can also visit the AR BookFinder™ at arbookfind.com to conduct a search of all available books with AR quizzes.
My child already does well in school. Why does she need this?
Even if a child is gifted at playing a musical instrument, she has to practice to develop her talent. Bright children, like all children, need to be challenged. Teachers using AR software in their classrooms find it easy to guide each student to books that give the child both challenge and success, regardless of the child’s level.
My child is not a strong reader. Can she still use Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader helps all children become better readers, from students with special needs to those who are gifted and talented. When children read books at an appropriate level, they experience success.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Your child’s school has the Enterprise version of Accelerated Reader, which means you can access your child’s AR information in Renaissance Home Connect™ from a computer with Web access. You must first gain access to the program from the school. Once in the program, you can view your child’s progress toward goals, points, and books read. You can also access AR BookFinder to search for titles of interest. You can only access information about your child. A weekly report is also sent home so you can review with your child their progress.