At Bosmere we subscribe to the Accelerated Reader program. This is an online platform where once your child has read a book, they take an online quiz and gets immediate feedback. Together with the school star reader checks, teachers can monitor a child’s reading and comprehension.
A Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader
What is Accelerated Reader (AR)?
AR is a computer programme which helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice (generally Year 2 and above). Your child picks a book at his or her own level and reads it at his or her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the school website or at school. Doing well in the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read.
Teachers may assist pupils by guiding them to books appropriate to their ability and interests or by challenging them to read a wider range of stories providing opportunities for your child to read, share reading or be read to.
Since children are reading books at their own reading and interest levels, most children are likely to be successful and enjoy the books and quizzes. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.
How can I help my child become a better reader?
As with anything, performance improves with practice. According to Renaissance Learning’s Research (the creators of AR), children who read at least twenty minutes a day, with a 90% comprehension rate on AR quizzes, see the greatest gains. Please encourage your child to read at home, discuss their books with them, ask questions about what they have read and visit your local library.
What is a STAR Reading test?
STAR Reading is used in school to determine your child ’s reading level. It is a computer assessment programme that uses computer based reading 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 cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple choice questions and takes approximately twenty minutes. The STAR reading test will be used to determine your child’s book level.
What is a Book Level?
Inside each book, there is a Book Level (BL) on a white sticker. Book Levels are reported using the ATOS ™ readability formula and represent the difficulty of the text. The levels range from 0.5-13.5. Books are chosen based on their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) range recommended for each pupil by the results of their initial STAR Reading assessment (children are re-tested termly).
What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD, after taking a STAR Reading test. It is important for children to read with a high degree of understanding and within his/her ZPD. This means that your child will not only be able to read the book, but understand enough of the words and meanings to have a good comprehension of what has been read. This sound understanding will also help your child to more easily draw on contextual clues to decipher words, phrases or sentences which are less familiar.
Can my child read outside of the ZPD range?
In the same way that an adult will choose a relaxing read, an old favourite or a more challenging novel, children could select a book outside of their given range. However, it has been shown that when 60-70% of a child ’s reading is within this range, more progress is made when they stay within the ZPD range assigned to them.
What is Interest Level?
On the sticker inside the book, there is LY (Lower Years, ages 5-8), MY (Middle Years, ages 9-13) or UY (Upper Years, ages 14+). The Interest Level indicates for which age group a book is appropriate, based on the content and themes. These are recommendations only and teachers and parents are advised to use their best judgement when guiding pupils.
What is the Quiz Number for?
On the sticker, there is a quiz number for each book. In AR, there is a database of over 25,000 book quizzes, with more being added every week. Soon after completing a book, children login to AR at school or home and enter the quiz number.
What feedback will teachers and pupils receive?
Accelerated Reader provides instant feedback for pupils. Teachers monitor quiz results and provide encouragement and guidance. Students try to average 85% or above on their comprehension quizzes. This indicates good comprehension and will lead to greater progress in reading ability.
Different aspects of AR will motivate different children. For some, seeing an increasing word count will be encouraging; the number of words in each book and each quiz will be added to a running total. Who will be the first to a million words? We will also celebrate when children score 85% or higher on the quizzes.
How can I help?
Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, visiting the library, letting your child see you read and discussing books that each of you has read. When reading together, stop and ask questions to check that your child understands what they have read. Reading with your child, no matter how old they are, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning.
Link to AR Website: A Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader
Would you like to find more books to read with your child at the appropriate level? Ask your class teacher what level your child is on and click on the link below to search for suggested book titles.