Parents’ Guide to Accelerated Reader
This guide is designed to help you understand what the AR programme involves and how you can encourage your child’s reading development. Your child will read for 10 minutes at the beginning of every English
lesson and visit the library every two weeks.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact Mrs Cairns, Librarian or your child’s English teacher.
What is Accelerated Reader?
The Accelerated Reader programme is used to measure the pupils’ understanding of what they have read, as although a pupil can often be competent at reading, it does not necessarily mean that they have understood the words, language and context.
AR is a computer programme that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. It starts with your child selecting a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace.
When finished, your child is invited to complete a short quiz on the computer in the library.
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 we then use to help direct on-going reading practice.
Children using AR choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.
AR lessons are held in the library during which time we help your child choose books suited to their reading needs, but that also are
challenging rather than frustrating, thus ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.
If your child does not do well on a quiz, we will help him/her choose another book that is more appropriate. In most cases, children really enjoy the quizzes. Since the books they read are tailored to 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 can I help my child become a better reader?
According to research children who read at least 20 minutes a day, see the greatest gains. Therefore, please encourage you child to appreciate the importance of AR and the need to set aside time for reading their book every day.
You can also help by showing an interest in:
- Their library AR book – perhaps discuss the title, the book cover or enquire about the story.
- Encourage your child to complete their Pupil Reading Log in their school planner.
- Their term points target – this will be entered in their planner and also on their AR bookmark.
- The progress made – show an interest in how your child is developing, the progress they are making, their increased confidence and the rise of their Book Level.
- Use Home Connect – to discuss the books your child has quizzed on and also to find books with quizzes at ARBookFind. Set up an email alert to receive your child’s results each time they take a quiz.
What if my child does not like reading?
Using Accelerated Reader, your child will choose the books he/she wants to read. We 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.
Students who say they do not like reading enjoy AR, as when they do well on the quizzes they develop a sense of achievement, are encouraged to get involved and read more.
What are the incentives?
In addition to a measurable improvement and a pupil’s sense of achievement, every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz also has a points value. AR points are computed and based on the difficulty and the length of the words in a book.
The number of points for each book can be located on the white sticker inside the book front cover.
Students collect points towards a term target which is set with a discussion with the child’s teacher.
Certificates are awarded throughout the year for achieving point targets, Millionaire Word Readers and achieving the Classic reader status. Forms also have a competition to take the most quizzes and fun prizes are rewarded. Students
achieving 100% in a quiz are entered in a prize draw to win an I-Tunes voucher.
How does the school determine my child’s reading level?
We determine your child’s reading level using STAR Reading, an online, question/ answer session comprising of thirty-four questions. STAR Reading is a computerised reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology.
Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response to a question is correct, the difficulty level of the next question is increased.
If the child misses a question, the difficulty level of the next question is reduced.
The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately twenty minutes.
The result of the test provides an individual student score, to which a book – at the corresponding book level – will be assigned.
What is the Reading Practice Quiz?
The purpose of the Reading Practice Quiz is not only to determine whether your child has read the book, but to measure your child’s understanding of the words and context of what they have read, as well as to provide immediate feedback. Each quiz consists of five, ten or twenty multiple-choice questions, depending on book level and length. There are over 16,000 AR quizzes available.
All learning starts with reading.
Reading is a skill and, as with every skill, requires not just instruction but practice.
Accelerated Reader forms part of our reading programme; it is designed to motivate students of all ages and abilities, to read more, raise literacy and develop a lifelong love of reading.
Using Accelerated Reader
Taking the Quiz