Introducing Accelerated Reader
What is Accelerated Reader (AR)?
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 at his/her 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 targets 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 does the school determine my child’s reading level?
Teachers determine your child’s reading level in one of three ways: a STAR Reading™ test, a reading age estimation from a standardised test or by using their best professional judgment based on their knowledge of your child. The English Department will use AR to test your child’s reading age using the STAR reading test in order that it is accurate and shows development throughout the academic year.
What is a STAR Reading™ test?
STAR Reading is a computerised reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response to a question is correct, the difficulty level of the next question is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level of the next question is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 10 minutes.
How will I know how my child is doing?
A TOPS Report is available after a child takes a quiz for feedback on your child’s understanding of the book and shows cumulative data for the marking period and school year. The TOPS Report may be sent home with your child. You can review the report, sign it and send it back to school with your child.
You can access your child’s AR information in Renaissance Home Connect™ from a computer with web access, using the login details handed out on LRD.
Once in the program, you can view your child’s progress toward targets, points and books read to monitor your child’s success. You can also access AR BookFinder to search for
titles of interest. You can only access information about your child.
Renaissance Home Connect
What is an ATOS™ book level?
Book levels are reported using the ATOS™ readability formula and represent the difficulty of the text. All students now have their book level recorded in diaries. There are book lists for each book level in order to give students an indication of a range of books they can choose from. Students book levels are identified by a colour, blue, green, orange, red or yellow. Reading lists are identified by colour and can be accessed by parents below.
Books from each reading list are all available in the library. Students can also look up other books they may want to read using the book finder function on AR. This shouldn’t be limiting, but rather an additional tool you may want to use to help guide and monitor your child’s reading. It isn’t compulsory, and students should always read what they want to so long as they understand it, whether it falls within the book level or not. For students who struggle with reading, this is an incredibly powerful tool, and teachers may recommend books which fall within their book level in order to further support their reading in class.
Please do get in touch if you would like to any advice or guidance in using AR to support your child at home.
Head of English