- Q: Will my child be compared to others?
- Q: My child already does well in school. Why does he/she need this?
- Q: What can I do to help?
- Q: How often is my child able to take an AR quiz?
What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers motivate students of all ages to read more books and better books. Study after study shows that reading is a foundational skill --the key to doing well and getting good grades in all subject areas. Better readers do better in math, science, social studies, and language arts. Accelerated Readers are proud of their accomplishments and develop a greater appreciation for reading, learning and school.
How Does It Work?
Students in the program choose their own books at their reading level, which makes reading more enjoyable for them. After completing the book, they take a short computer quiz on it. Students earn points based on the length of the book, the difficulty of the book and their score on the test. Points are saved for individual and team incentives.
The AR system assigns a point value to each book based on the number of words in the book and its reading level, using a readability index. The index considers the number of syllables in words and sentence complexity. Below is the formula the AR test writers use to calculate the point value of a book using reading level and number of words.
AR Points = (10 + Reading Level) x [Words in Book divided by 100,000]
Once the student reads a book, he or she goes to the computer and takes a test on the book. The test consists of five, ten, or twenty objective questions about important facts in the book. The purpose of the tests, or quizzes, is to provide quality information for the motivation of reading practice, and are intended to determine whether or not a student has read a book.
These quizzes are encouraging rather than intimidating, chiefly because a student who has read a book should be able to pass the quiz. Questions typically focus on significant events, characters, and literary features of a book. In addition, questions are presented in an order that matches the order of the book.
Classroom teachers and library staff will help children choose books that are challenging without being frustrating. This helps to assure that the student can pass the quiz and be successful. If a student does not do well on the quiz, he or she should get individual help from the teacher.
How Teachers Use Accelerated Reader
- To motivate: If a child is a struggling reader, AR provides an opportunity to gain confidence and to learn to enjoy reading. It is easy for a child to find a book at his/her reading level so reading becomes enjoyable rather than frustrating. If your child is an excellent reader, AR will help him or her choose the right level of books for challenge and enjoyment.
- To encourage: Practice is the key to reading success. Teachers using AR motivate students to get more reading practice. Successful students want to read more and more!
- To provide individual help: The AR computer program creates reports that help the teacher guide your child's progress. The teacher will know if your child is having difficulty and can offer immediate support.
Common Questions from Parents
Q: Will my child be compared to others?
A: AR is not competitive. AR is simply a tool to assist the teacher in helping each child individually. Kids using AR are encouraged to progress at their own pace. The goal of AR is for every child to succeed at his or her own level and to read more thereby improving their own reading skills.
Q: My child already does well in school. Why does he/she need this?
A: Even if a child is gifted at playing a musical instrument or playing a sport, he/she still has to practice. AR encourages more reading practice. Bright children need to be challenged to do even better or they will lose interest.
Q: What can I do to help?
A: Do what you've always done--be encouraging. Teachers using AR make time for reading in school. You can help by making sure your child has time to read at home as well. You can check the list to find titles of AR book quizzes we have at Daniel. Reading with your child, no matter what the child's age, is an important part of becoming a good reader. Make reading a family affair.
Q: How often is my child able to take an AR quiz?
A: Whenever your child completes reading a book they are encouraged to take the quiz on that book as soon as possible. These tests can be taken in the classroom, the computer lab (now able to test whole classes at one time), or in the library. Some students even come to the Family Learning Center in the evening with a parent and take test there.
Learn to Read, Read to Learn