St Louis Grammar School
Ballymena
Promoting Excellence, Endeavour and Empowerment

Accelerated Reader Guide

17 Sep 2021

What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child chooses a book at his/her 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 both children and teachers 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 reading level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.

 

How much will my child read during the school day?

 According to Renaissance Learning’s research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day with a 90% comprehension rate on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, your child should have at least 20 minutes set aside for reading during each school day.

 

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, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookshop on a regular basis and by letting your child see you reading. In general make a habit of discussing books that each of you has read.

 

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

Star Reading is an online assessment used to determine a child’s English reading level. It is a computer-based reading assessment program that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to each child’s responses. If the response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If they cannot answer a question, or answer incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 20-30 minutes.

 

What is an ATOS book level?

Book levels are reported using the ATOS readability formula and represent the difficulty of the text.

What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?

In independent literature-based reading, ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a Star Reading test, or teachers can use their best professional judgment to determine a ZPD. It is 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.

What are points?

Every book that has an Accelerated Reader Reading Practice Quiz is given a point value. Accelerated Reader points are computed based on the difficulty of the book (ATOS readability level) and the length of the book (number of words).

Children earn points, or a portion of a book's points, depending on how well they do on the Reading Practice Quiz. For example, a child who takes a 5-question quiz on a book worth 1 point will earn 1 point for 5 correct answers (100%), 0.8 point for 4 correct answers (80%), etc. A child who reads a book worth 5 points and takes a 10-question quiz will earn 5 points for 10 correct answers (100%), 4.5 points for 9 correct answers (90%), etc. For quizzes with 3, 5 or 10 questions, a child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 60% or higher to earn points. For quizzes with 20 questions, a child needs to pass with a score of 70% or higher to earn points.

 

My child’s librarian put an AR book list from the school library on the web.  How do I access it?

Go to Accelerated Reader BookFinder at www.arbookfind.co.uk. Enter the keycode HC052817 and click Go to access the list created by your child’s librarian.

How will I know how my child is doing?

The Renaissance Place Home Connect system, which can be accessed from any web-enabled computer, will allow parents to keep track of their children’s progress. You can access Home Connect through this link. 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.



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