What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is based around a computer program that helps to develop children’s independent reading. It works in quite a simple way; a child picks a book at their own level, and when finished takes a short quiz of 5-10 questions on the computer. The quiz is a new feature of how we change books at school, but is a really important addition. If the child can answer the quiz questions about what they have read they are given a points value dependent on how many questions they answer correctly, which then tells the child's teacher that they have fully understood the content of the book. That point value is added to a child's individual profile and the class teacher tracks each child's progress. This is how children move up through the programme.
How does a child know which books to choose in Accelerated Reader?
Each child will be able to select a book from our library that falls within their Z.P.D (zone of proximal development). This reading band guides children towards choosing books at an appropriate reading level that are challenging yet not frustrating. The aim is for children to pass the quiz and be successful. In time, children will move up reading bands and read more challenging texts.
All of our books in school have been labelled and put into colour bands that will further help guide children in choosing a book. One of the best parts about using Accelerated Reader is that children can choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as children can choose books that are interesting to them. When your child brings home their reading book you will notice a white label on the inside cover. This states the reading level (ZPD) of the book, the quiz number and the number of points available for reading that book.
How can parents and carers support their children at home?
As a part of our reading programme we ask children to read at home to an adult for 20 minutes a day, fill in their reading diary and have it signed by a parent. According to Renaissance Learning’s research (who run Accelerated Reader), children who read at least 20 minutes a day with a 90% comprehension success rate on the quizzes see the greatest gains. We would greatly appreciate your support in helping your child to do this, as ultimately the reading practise that your child gets outside of school contributes greatly towards them becoming a confident, successful reader.
It is essential that children bring their reading book back to school every day as they also read their books during reading time in class daily. Please support your child in this new routine, putting their book back in their school bag as soon as they have finished reading with you. We can’t stress enough the importance of it!
If you have any questions about Accelerated Reader, please do ask your child’s class teacher who will be happy to help.