How AR is used in our reading program

 

How Accelerated Reader (AR) is used in Our Reading Program

What is Accelerated Reader? AR is a reading program designed to encourage and promote successful reading.  It helps students to track their reading comprehension by providing them the tools to measure their improvement.  AR places the focus on the careful reading of books, which in turn promotes critical thinking.

How does AR work with the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI)? One of the key components of ARI is the importance of reading practice. The more children read the better they read.

How does AR work? Children read books in their reading range (called their ZPD, see below). Then they take a computer quiz on the book.  The questions are designed to show how well the student understands the material. The computer scores the quiz and gives points based on their score.

What is ZPD? It stands for Zone of Proximal Development, which means the reading range is high enough to challenge the student and promote reading growth but not so high that the child gets frustrated.  The STAR test each student takes assigns the range; however, the teachers make adjustments in the range to best help each child.  Often teachers will allow students to read anything they would have a zero averaged in with their other reading grades. Remember, accumulating AR points is not the objective—increasing students’ reading abilities is the goal.  Points are just a tool of measurement.

Is the AR score used as part of the students reading grade? Yes. Each nine weeks teachers print an AR report on what their students have done the nine weeks.  They use both the % of goal score and the % of correct answers. These two scores are averaged into the other reading grades the teacher has collected during the nine-weeks.  Therefore, if a student has reached or exceeded his/her goal they will have a 100 included in their grades.  On the other hand, if they have not read anything they would have a zero averaged in with their other reading grades.  Remember, accumulating AR points is not the objective—increasing students’ reading abilities is the goal.  Points are just a tool of measurement.

Can children take quizzes on books from home or other libraries?  No. Quizzes cannot be taken at home. All test need to be taken at school.  We have access to all AR tests, of which there are thousands, therefore, we do not have every book.  You can search for specific book titles by going to our website (http://ses.ecboe.org ) and clicking the "AR Book Finder" button found on the home page.

When can a kindergartener participate in AR? When a child reads well enough to be successful on the STAR program, his/her teacher will begin AR.  The purpose is to promote successful  independent reading  experiences.

How can parents help?  Parents’ interest in reading shows the child how important it is.  Reading to and reading with a child, as well as listening to them read, is very helpful.  Also, we would welcome parents to come assist younger students as they are learning to take the computer tests, or reading with a struggling reader.  Your support of our reading program is vital to its success.  We all  have many outside activities but academic achievement must be high on the list of priorities.
Who can I talk to if I have more questions about AR? Your child's teacher can answer your questions or you may talk to the Librarian, Patsy Patterson. She has many years experience administering the program.
Also, if you wish to volunteer in assisting with the reading program, please let us know.
                                                                                                 Revised April 11, 2011
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