A Parents’ Guide
At Plantation Primary School, children in Years 3-6 use a program called Accelerated Reader to track both school and home reading. Here is a quick guide for those of you who are new to or unfamiliar with the program.
What is Renaissance Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers to manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his/her own level (ZPD a Zone of Proximal Development) and reads the book at his/her own pace, both in school and at home. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on an Ipad in school - passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read. The ZPD is therefore based on both reading fluency and reading comprehension Teachers may assist pupils by:
- Guiding them to books appropriate to their ability and interests.
- Asking probing questions as your child reads and before quizzing.
- Pairing your child with others, reading with or reading to your child.
- Since they are reading books at their own reading and interest levels, most children are likely to be successful and enjoy the books and quizzes. Best of all they learn and grow at their own pace.
How is your child’s book level (ZPD) determined?
Your child will receive a ZPD, after taking a Star Reading test at the beginning of each term. 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 to complete. Book Levels are reported using the ATOS™ readability formula and represent the difficulty of the text. The levels range from 0.5 - 13.5. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within his/her ZPD.
How can I help my child become a better reader?
As with anything, performance improves with practice. 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. Encourage your child to read at home, discuss books, ask questions about what they have read and visit your local library.
Please ensure that you use your child’s school planner to keep track of his/her reading. It is in this planner that you will see the name of the book that your child is reading and how they have performed on AR quizzes. Please comment and sign the planner once a week as a minimum.
As always, thank you for your continued support and if you do have any questions regarding Accelerated Reader, do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher.