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A Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader

 We have introduced the Accelerated Reader reading scheme to develop our students’ reading skills greatly – making them passionate and confident readers. This will equip them with the literacy skills which will empower them in their studies and in the wider world beyond school.

What is Accelerated Reader?

AR is a computer programme that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice.

Your child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their 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 children, teachers, and librarians 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 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.

Teachers and librarians help your child choose books at an appropriate readability 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 or librarian may help your child:

• Choose another book that is more appropriate.

• Ask more probing questions as your child reads and before your child takes a quiz.

• Pair your child with another student, or even have the book read to your child.

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?

15 minutes has been set aside during the school day for reading. This will take place in lessons on a rolling basis to ensure that the students do not have their reading time during the same lessons. Students in years 7-10 will also have a fortnightly Accelerated Reader lesson as part of their English lessons. Students should also be encouraged to read after school as well to accelerate their progress.

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, 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 and building a lifelong love of reading and learning.

What if my child doesn’t like reading?

Using Accelerated Reader, your child will choose the books he wants to read. The teacher or librarian 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 or librarian, and success, even students who say they don’t like reading will develop a love of reading.

I’m concerned that my child will be unfairly compared to others.

AR helps the teacher to work with each child individually. Students using AR are encouraged to progress at their own pace and set their own goals with the help of the teacher. The aim of AR is for all children to succeed in achieving their goals.

How does the school determine my child’s reading level?

Teachers determine your child’s reading level by using a STAR Reading™ test. 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 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 15 minutes.

How will I know if a book has an AR quiz?

Visit www.arbookfind.co.uk and search for the title.

How can I help my child find books that are interesting to him?

Visit arbookfind.co.uk and click on Advanced Search. By conducting an advanced search, you can generate book lists that contain titles based on the criteria you enter such as book level, topic, interest level, fiction/nonfiction, etc.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information about the Accelerated Reader Programme. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Or alternatively visit: www.renlearn.co.uk for more information.