If your child is in Key Stage 2, they may have mentioned the words ‘Accelerated Reader’ to you, so this is a short guide as to what this program is all about. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Mrs Nash.
AR is a computer program that helps teachers and librarians manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at a pre-determined level and reads it. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child has 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. Since they are reading books at their reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful and best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace.
AR does not follow the school’s old Library book band system. The books are levelled using different criteria, such as interest levels and content. The levelling criteria covers such factors as vocabulary, average word length, average sentence length, grammatical complexity etc – not how long the book is or how many pictures it contains! Just because a child can read the words in a book does not mean the content is appropriate. Interest level is based on content—a book’s themes and ideas—and indicates for which age group a book is appropriate.
The AR books will be sent home and will be used for their ‘home reader’. According to research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day with an 85% comprehension rate on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, your child should have at least 20 minutes set aside for reading during day.
As with anything, performance improves with practice. You can encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, 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 comprehends what is read.