What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is a computerized reading management program. It is a unique system for motivating children to read and for tracking achievement. Students select and read books of their choice and take computerized tests when they finish reading. Books and tests available at Banks Elementary School range in reading level from emergent readers to 7th grade level. The program keeps track of all the tests taken and points earned for each participating student. The multiple choice tests are made up of 5, 10, or 20 comprehension and recall questions. After completing the test, the student is shown how many questions were answered correctly. The program shows the answers for the questions missed and awards reading points to the student’s record.
Does research support using Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader gives students instant information and reinforcement for their efforts. By basing reading points on three standards (quantity, quality, and reading level), Accelerated Reader challenges students to achieve and supports a literature-based reading program. Many studies confirm the program’s positive impact on reading scores. Appropriate, independent goals must be set for each student — goals which will motivate them to reach their highest potential. It is up to the Banks Elementary staff, students, and community to foster positive involvement in the program. The Accelerated Reader program is another opportunity for staff and parents to push their students to read beyond the classroom setting. The focus is on reading and celebrating!
How are student reading levels determined?
Student reading levels will be initially assessed and periodically updated using the STAR Reading program. This process will give teachers, students, and parents a good idea of the students’ reading level and Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD is a range of books’ levels. Students should try to choose books within their ZPD range so that they are practicing reading with books that are “just right” for them instead of those that are too easy or too challenging. Of course, they may read books from outside their range for enjoyment, but most of their reading material should be within their range. Students can find books on their level at the school or public library.