Accelerated Reader (AR) is a whole-group reading management and monitoring programme that aims to motivate children to read, by guiding them to books that are just right for them and promoting rewards for their progress, Children can then build on their reading skills and enjoy reading, becoming confident, independent readers who read for pleasure.
AR is supported by scientifically-based research. An extensive body of research confirms the effectiveness of Accelerated Reader and best classroom practices in helping teachers dramatically improve children’s reading skills. The research consistently demonstrates that Accelerated Reader enables teachers to target instruction and accelerate reading growth for children of all ability levels.
Accelerated Reader is not designed to teach reading skills or replace any other methods and/or reading in school. It supports and enhances reading practice. It is all about the practise. AR guides the children to read books at a difficulty level which is right for them, providing motivation and enjoyment, which leads to greater acquisition of reading skill.
The children begin by taking a STAR Reading test. This is a computer based reading assessment programme 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 cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 10 - 15 minutes to complete. The completed STAR Reading Test then determines your child’s reading age; book level and ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development). Children then pick a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace.
What is a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development)?
ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD after taking a STAR Reading test. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within his/her ZPD. ZPDs can be adjusted by the teacher based on the needs and ability of your child.
Your child’s ZPD will look something like this: 3.6 – 4.2 it gives a rage of material in which your child will read most comfortably with a level of challenge. The levels move from 0.1 through to above 10. All books within school are associated with AR and have a coded label on the front cover so that the children can easily see the level of the book they are considering.
Once they have finished reading the book they will take a short quiz. Quizzing the children allows them to earn points depending on their scores, tests their comprehension, vocabulary, literacy skills for higher order thinking and teachers are able to monitor their progress.