Accelerated Reader Guide
A Guide to Accelerated Reader at Tiger Primary School
As part of our early reading provision, children at Tiger progress through the different levels of Read Write Inc texts. Progressing on from these means moving on to the Accelerated Reading program.
What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer (within 24 hours)—passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read. AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to set targets for your child.
A sample quiz question
Children using AR have a free choice (within their range) of the books they read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they feel in control and can choose books that are interesting to them. The books that are within your child’s reading range will be challenging without being frustrating and at a level at which your child can pass the quiz and experience success.
At Tiger, we encourage children to aim for an 80%+ quiz score. Regular scores of 80%+ will earn them more points, show a consistently good understanding of what they have read and contribute towards improved academic progress in Reading.
If your child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher may assist him/her by:
- Discussing the text, allowing them to read it again/skim read and have a second attempt at the quiz
- Suggesting/helping them choose a more appropriate book
- Next time, asking questions about the book before they take a quiz
- Reminding them of reading expectations at Tiger
In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they are reading books at their own reading level, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all they learn and grow at their own pace.
How does the school determine my child’s reading level?
Teachers determine your child’s reading level in two ways: a STAR Reading test and by using his/her best professional judgement based on his/her knowledge of your child.
What is a STAR Reading Test?
STAR Reading is a computer-based reading assessment program 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 cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 20 minutes.
What is ZPD?
ZPD stands for Zone of Proximal Development. Simply put in relation to AR, a child’s ZPD is their reading range. The ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive their ZPD after taking a STAR Reading test. Teachers will monitor a child’s ZPD and adjust if necessary based on the needs and ability of your child. It is important for the children to read with a high degree of comprehension and stay within their reading range.
What are points?
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a points value. AR points are based on the difficulty of the book and the length of the book (number of words). A child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 80% or higher to earn points.
My child is not a strong reader. Can they still use Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader helps all children become better readers from pupils with special needs to those who are gifted and talented. When children read books at their appropriate level, they experience success. Furthermore, teachers work with children to set appropriate targets based on each child’s reading level.
How are Accelerated Reader point targets set?
Targets are set for the approximate number of AR points children should be able to earn in each term depending on how much time they read and their reading level. Monitoring AR points earned by children enables your child’s teacher to determine how well your child is using the time provided for reading practice.
How many Accelerated Quizzes are there?
There are over 11,000 AR quizzes available and more being written every month.
Is it ok for my child to read outside of his/her reading range?
Just because a child can read the words in a book does not mean the content is appropriate. The interest level of the material must be considered. Interest level is based on content, a book’s themes and ideas-and indicates for which age group a book is appropriate. The chart below shows which years fall into each Interest Level.
Recommended Age Group
LY – Lower Years
MY – Middle Years
UY – Upper Years
How will I know if a book has an AR quiz?
You can visit AR Bookfinder to conduct a search of all available books with AR quizzes. There is also a link to Bookfinder on our school website.
Can I see how my child is getting on?
The Renaissance Place Home Connect system, which can be accessed from any web-enabled computer, will allow you to keep track of your child’s progress. You can access Home Connect through the link on the school website. You will need your child’s AR username and password to do so. Once in the program, you can view your child’s progress towards targets, points and books read. You can also access AR BookFinder to search for titles of interest. You can only access information about your own child.