What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is a software program that we use to track students' independent reading progress. Like any skill to be mastered, reading requires instruction as well as daily practice. Accelerated Reader (AR) is a way we monitor reading practice and reinforce positive reading habits.
It's pretty simple, really, students read a book, take an AR quiz on the computer, and get immediate feedback. Teachers can monitor their progress, and provide support in selecting reading materials at an appropriate level.
How do I know what level books my student should be reading?
At the beginning of the school year (and several times throughout the year) you student will take an online assessment call the STAR test. This takes approximately 30 minutes, and assesses several areas of reading. The STAR test also generates a ZPD level, and this is what helps the teacher/student/parent identify the correct level for reading practice.
What does "ZPD" mean?
ZPD stands for "Zone of Proximal Development". Reading practice within this zone will result in the greatest
amount of reading growth. We know that if we do tasks that are too easy for us, we never improve. If those tasks are too hard, we become frustrated and don't want to practice anymore. We need to find the tasks that are the "just right fit" for our abilities - we are still challenged, without becoming frustrated.
For example, if a student's ZPD is identified as 2.3 - 3.3, that means that he/she will get the most growth if his/her reading practice is focused on books that are between 2nd grade 3rd month, and 3rd grade, 3rd month.
What if my child wants to read something outside their ZPD?
As adult readers, we know that finding books we are interested in is not always an easy task, and as a student, sometimes this is even harder when asked to stick to a certain reading level. We do not want you or your child to be frustrated with reading practice at home! Our goal is to help you raise life-long readers. If your student is interested in reading a book a little above or a little below the ZPD level, we ask that you jot a quick note to the teacher so that he/she can monitor their progress on the book in class, and offer support if needed. After the AR quiz is taken, it would be a good idea to see if your student was successful (score of 80% or higher), and have a plan for what to read next.
Why does my child have a "point goal"?
Many of our teachers set point goals with their students. Each time a student takes a test, he/she earns a certain amount of points depending on the level/difficulty of the book, and the score earned.
For example, a short chapter book might be worth 1.0 point. The student took a quiz and scored 80%. This means they earned 0.8 points on that book.
The point goal should be set with input from both the student and the teacher. Just like the ZPD, if it's too high the student sees it as unattainable. If too low, there will not be much effort put towards it, and as a result, little growth.
How do I find out which books we have at home are AR books?
Use the link above to go to AR Bookfinder and look up books!
What do the dots on the PineCrest library books mean?
If a book has a colored dot on the lower spine, that indicates that it is an AR book, and we have a quiz for it.