At Bridge & Patrixbourne CEP School we use a reading programme called Accelerated Reader. This is a system designed to develop children’s independent reading and provides more structure and guidance to those children who are ‘free reading’.
It works in a very simple way, children from Year 3 upwards have all taken a short reading test to determine their reading level and, after completing a book, the children then take a short ‘quiz’ in school to check their understanding and comprehension before choosing another book.
The vast majority of the books in our library have been labelled with a book level and one of the best parts about Accelerated Reader is that children can choose their own books to read rather than being given one. This will hopefully encourage children to read by making it a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are of interest to them.
Please note that Accelerated Reader assesses comprehension and vocabulary knowledge as well as decoding, i.e. pure reading and this means that children initially may be assigned a lower reading range than they expected. This usually self-corrects after a while and children are still free to borrow any book from the library – all children will have an ‘AR book’ and a ‘library book’.
How do you determine my child’s reading level?
Children will take a computerised reading assessment known as a STAR test to determine their level. The test uses multiple-choice questions and adjusts to your child’s responses – if an answer is correct, the next question increases in difficulty and vice versa. The whole test takes approximately 15 minutes. This test will give a recommended ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which indicates the level of book that your child should choose, (e.g. 3.1 – 4.5) which is then recorded in their Reading Record. This reading range guides the children into choosing books at an appropriate reading level so that they are challenging without being too frustrating.
How does my child take a quiz?
Children have daily access to computers to enable them to take a quiz. It is important that they take their quiz as soon as possible after they have read their book, as this will give them the best chance of passing.
How can I help my child become a better reader?
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 book shop on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading and discussing books that each of you has read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is understanding what they read. Reading with your child, no matter what their age, is an important part of developing a good reader and building a lifelong love of reading and learning.
My child is not a strong reader. Can he/she still use Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader helps all children become better readers from pupils with special needs to those who are gifted and talented. When children read books at their appropriate level, they experience success. Furthermore, teachers work with children to set appropriate targets based on each child’s reading level.
If you have any questions about Accelerated Reader, then please speak to your child’s class teacher, Mrs Haynes our librarian or Miss Allison our Reading Leader.