What Is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is a reading management software program. “AR” is designed to help teachers motivate, monitor, and manage student reading. AR measures the quality, quantity, and level of reading and feeds this information back to the students and teachers through a variety of reports. It is the goal of Accelerated Reader to motivate students to become lifelong learners who love to read.
How Does It Work?
1. Students in grades 1-5 take the STAR reading test at the beginning of each nine weeks. This assessment provides an approximate measure of each students’ reading level, which is used to help teachers guide their students to choose books that are just right for them (not too hard, not too easy).
2. Students select and read books that match their individual reading level and interests. Our Library Media Center has thousands of books in all reading levels, from pre-kindergarten through high school (books on high school reading level are rated to be appropriate reading material for our elementary students).
3. Students take a short computerized multiple-choice quiz that measures his/her understanding of the book. Students must have read the book in order to correctly answer the questions.
3. After a student takes a quiz, he/she receives points based on the book’s point value (the longer the book is, the more points it is worth) and how well he/she did on the quiz. In this way, points are a measurement of reading–a summary of quantity, quality, and difficulty. Both students and teachers get information and feedback from the reports that can be generated within the AR program. It is an efficient way for teachers to make sure students are spending enough time reading books that appropriate for their level and check that students are understanding what they read.
Where are the “AR” Books?
Almost every fiction book in our Library Media Center has an AR quiz and many of the non fiction books do as well. These books are labeled with the reading level and number of points to make identification easy.
There are tens of thousands of AR quizzes available to our students. AR books can be found in classrooms, public libraries, book stores, even lots of those books on your child’s bookshelf at home have an AR quiz!
How Can Parents Help?
Parents can provide a time and place to read at home. Ask your child what his/her individual AR goal is and what book he/she is reading. Talk to your children about books and let them see you reading, too!
Students are only allowed to take Accelerated Reader quizzes at school. To allow students to use the program outside the school is now in violation of the site license.
Interest Level and Reading Level
Interest level is based on a book’s content including theme, characters, and plot. The interest level attached to the book indicates age group appropriateness, not reading level. Interest level designations reflect the judgment of the book’s publisher and the professionals at Renaissance Learning. Book content appropriateness is grouped into these categories:
LG = Lower Grades (K-3rd grade)
MG = Middle Grades (4th-8th grades);
MG+ = Upper Middle Grades (6 th grade and up)
UG = Upper Grades (9th-12th grades).
Students are no longer able to take an AR quiz on books with an Upper Grade (UG) interest level. Books available from our Library Media Center are all rated Lower Grade interest level through Middle Grades (there are a few Middle Grades Plus). Students in third through fifth grade are being taught how to use ARBookfinder to check on a book’s reading level and interest level. If a student gets a book from someplace other than our Library Media Center he/she will need to check this site to make sure it is the correct reading level and interest level.