What is Accelerated Reader (AR)?
AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s reading practice. Yinghua is using this program to help students develop the habit of reading and, in doing so, to realize the joy of reading.
How does it work?
During English class or library visits, students can take brief computerized quizzes to check their understanding of the books they’ve read. Books may come from your home library, a public library, the Yinghua Library or our English Language Arts (ELA) classrooms.
Children pick a book at their own levels and read them at their own pace. When finished, they take a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that a child understood what was read.) AR gives children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals 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 more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. Teachers help your child choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating. This helps ensure that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.
Yinghua students have taken practice AR tests to learn the new program and become comfortable taking tests. Students set goals in conjunction with their ELA teachers.
How does the school determine my child’s reading level?
In the 2016-17 school year, students in grades 2-8 were administered a Star Reading Assessment to help determine an appropriate reading level. Star Reading is a computerized reading assessment 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 misses a question, the difficulty level is reduced. The assessment uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 15 minutes.
What is Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
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 receives a ZPD range after taking a Star Reading Assessment. Shortly after receiving the ZPD, or reading level, students can begin taking book quizzes. Visit the AR BookFinder (www.arbookfind.com) to find out if a book has an AR quiz associated with it.
Why can’t my child take quizzes on our home computer?
A student cannot take a quiz on a home computer because students may not log in outside the school network. This is stipulated in Yinghua’s contract agreement with Renaissance Learning, the developer and publisher of Accelerated Reader.
What if my child is not yet reading independently?
There are three ways for a child to “read” a book, as below. Book quizzes also may be administered in these ways:
- The child may read a book independently and may take a the computerized AR quiz independently.
- The child may read a book with an adult or reading buddy and may take the computerized AR quiz with an adult’s assistance.
- An adult or reading buddy may read a book aloud to a child and may read aloud the quiz questions to the child.
Below are links to additional resources that Yinghua parents may find useful.