At Yew Tree Primary School, we have adopted the use of 'Accelerated Reader' as part of our provision to teach reading.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. At Yew Tree Primary School, children in Year 3 upwards use AR, with children in Year 2 using the system after Christmas.
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, 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. Children can also take quizzes on books that have been read to them, e.g. by parents and teachers.
According to research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day in school and 20 minutes a day at home with a 90% comprehension rate (average percentage correct) on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, your child will have 20 minutes set aside for reading during each school day. Please replicate this at home too.
As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookshop on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading and discussing books that each of you have read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child’s age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning and creating a loving relationship between you and your child. Make learning a family affair!
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 judgement based on their knowledge of your child. 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 20 minutes.
In independent literature-based reading, ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a STAR Reading test or teachers can use their best professional judgement to determine a ZPD. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within their ZPDs. ZPDs should be adjusted based on the needs of your child.
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a point value. AR points are computed based on the difficulty of the book and the length of the book. Children earn points, or a portion of a book’s points, depending on how well they do on the Reading Practice Quiz. For example, a child who takes a 5-question quiz on a book worth 1 point will earn 1 point for 5 correct answers (100%), 0.8 point for 4 correct answers (80%), etc. A child who reads a book worth 5 points and takes a 10-question quiz will earn 5 points for 10 correct answers (100%), 4.5 points for 9 correct answers (90%), etc.
For quizzes with 3, 5 or 10 questions, a child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 60% or higher to earn points. For quizzes with 20 questions, a child needs to pass with a score of 70% or higher to earn points.
There are over 26,000 AR quizzes available, with more being written every month.
Accelerated Reader includes several types of quizzes designed to support the development of several reading skills. The quizzes we use at Yew Tree Primary School are: -