What is the Accelerated Reader (AR) programme?
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a product provided by a
company called Renaissance Learning. It is a computer based programme that
helps support children’s reading and their teacher’s monitoring of their
reading. It is usually started when children reach a higher level of
independent reading which usually happens in P4. It can of course start earlier
or later depending on progress. Your child will pick a library book
in class according to their reading ability and when finished will complete a
short online quiz on the book. This will help to assess their comprehension or
understanding of the book. This information then helps the teacher assess their
reading progress and to decide how to help them progress further. The reading
books selected by the children are within a selected group therefore you can be
confident that the books that they read are at an appropriate level for them.
We have also recently stocked up on AR books in our group novel
selections. This means that your son/ daughter's reading book will usually
also be an AR book which they can be quizzed on.
How much will my child read during the day?
According to Renaissance Learning’s research
children who read at least 20 minutes per day see the greatest reading gains.
In school we will set aside between 20 and 30 minutes of silent reading every
day for those pupils involved in the programme.
Should my child read AR books at home?
The answer is most definitely yes. Some of the
books that your child reads will not be completed during the reading time in
school. Encouraging them to read while at home will help them improve
further. As mentioned above most of your child’s
reading books will also be AR books. You will be able to tell if they are as
they will have a white label inside the cover detailing the level of the book
etc (see below).
How did the school decide on my child’s reading
We combine a mixture of measures including teacher
judgement and internal reading assessments. All children involved also complete
an AR STAR Reading Assessment at the beginning of the programme and at various
stages throughout. STAR Reading Assessment is a standardised assessment tool
which means we can measure pupil progress across a large number of pupils.
What is a STAR Reading Assessment?
STAR Reading is a computer based reading
programme that uses computer adaptive technology. This means that it adapts to
your child’s responses when answering questions to help determine the
appropriate level for them. If the child’s answer is correct it will ask them harder
questions while asking easier questions if they find the questions difficult
until they arrive at a suitable level for them.
What is a ZPD?
ZPD stands for Zone of Proximal Development. A ZPD
is simply the range of books that a pupil will read within. They are carefully
selected to appropriately challenge a child without causing frustration or loss
of motivation with their reading. The ZPD is identified after the children sit
the STAR Reading Assessment. This range will change according to a child’s
My child’s book has a coloured sticker on the spine
and a white sticker on the inside cover. What do they mean?
The coloured sticker indicates the Book Range that
the child is reading within. The inside sticker provides a variety of
information about the book. The information most useful to parents is the ATOS
Book Level and the points available to the reader when he/ she finish the book
What is an ATOS Book Level?
A book level represents the difficulty of the text.
There are 6 levels in total and they range from 0.0-1.9 through to 6.0+.
My child tells me that they are earning reading
"Points”, watching their "Word Count” grow and acheiving "Above
85%" in their online tests. Can you explain?
Every time a child reads a book and successfully
completes an online quiz they will receive the allocated points for the book.
The points can be found on the sticker on the inside of the book. AR points are
based on the difficulty and the length of the book. The reference to 85% is the
average level at which a child needs to pass their quizzes to make the greatest
progress. The word count is the overall number of words a child has read to
date. All three are used in school to reward children for their
Will my child still read books in their class
Your child will still continue with their normal
reading in class within their reading group. AR books from the school library
are additional reading material. However as mentioned above most of your
child's reading books will also be AR books.
My child has told me that they complete Accelerated
Reader quizzes in class. Can they do them at home?
The quizzes are completed in school. Quizzing does
not happen at home.
How will I know how well my child is doing with the
We will update you on your child’s progress in a
variety of ways. We will speak to you about their progress at our Annual
Parent/ Teacher meeting during the 1st term. We will also send
you home paper printouts of their progress from time to time. These are called
TOPS reports. You can also check on your child’s progress yourself by signing
up to the AR Renaissance Home Connect service (see below). Of course you are
also able to discuss any aspect of your child’s progress in school throughout
the year by contacting the class teacher for an appointment.
Can I supply Accelerated Reader books for my child?
If you wish you can purchase AR Reading books for
your child. This is at your own discretion and while purchasing additional
reading books for your child is to be encouraged we can assure you that
significant investment in school means that we have more than enough AR books
to keep them busy during the year. If you wish to check if a book you are going
to buy is an AR Book you can use the guide found at:
Renaissance Home Connect is a service which helps
you to keep up to date with your child’s progress. It enables you to see the
books they have read, check on their progress with the quizzes and to sign up
for the e. mailed results service. This means that every time your child
completes a quiz you will automatically receive an e. mail with the result. We
forward information to parents detailing how to sign up for the Home Connect