Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians 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 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.
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. Teachers or librarians determine your child’s reading level in a couple of ways: a STAR Reading™ test, or a grade-equivalent score from a standardized 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 15 minutes.
Your child will receive a Zone of Proximal Development Range (ZPD) range after taking a STAR Reading test. The ZPD and the GE (Grade Equivalent) score from the STAR Reading test will show up in Accelerated Reader, making it easier for teachers and librarians to set goals for students. It’s important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within their ZPDs. ZPDs should be adjusted based on the needs of your child.
Our library books are color coded for each range and the children know to look for the color coding to pick appropriate books for their abilities. We begin Accelerated Reader beginning in Kindergarten. Kindergarteners are introduced after Christmas to our program and their parents read their books to them and come in to test their comprehension levels.