What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader (or AR) is a customised reading programme that meets the needs of individual students, supporting the development of their reading fluency and comprehension.
Students are given a personalised Reading Range – their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ – this enables students to find a book which is appropriate to their reading level. Students choose their books, read them and then take short computerised quizzes. This gives students instant feedback on their progress, as well providing teaching staff with important information about the student's reading and comprehension.
Our Year 7 and 8 classes use Accelerated Reader during their English Library Lessons and are encouraged to visit the library during breaktimes, lunch and after school where they can exchange books and take quizzes.
Why reading matters for KS3 students
When students join us in Year 7, they have different reading ages – roughly half have a reading age of up to 11 and the other half have a reading age of 11 or just over. Children with a reading age below their actual age sometimes stop reading fiction completely when they start secondary school. This means their reading age doesn’t improve and in some instances actually declines. When a student starts their GCSE’s, if their reading age is below their actual age it puts them at a real disadvantage. We want to help students now so that their reading has improved by the time they reach KS4.
Every child – whether reading at, below or above their actual age – needs encouragement to read. This encouragement needs to come from school and home. The motivation to read and a good range of books will encourage them to retain a reading habit. Sometimes, as children get older it’s harder to set aside time to read and other interests take over but if school and home deliver the same message, then we can keep the pleasure of reading alive into adulthood.
According to research children who read at least 40 minutes a day, see the greatest gains. Therefore, please encourage your child to appreciate the importance of AR and the need to set aside time for reading their book every day.
If your child ever says "I've got no homework!" reply with "Yes, you have - you've got your Accelerated Reader book!"
You can help by showing an interest in:
- Their current library AR book - perhaps discuss the title, the book cover or enquire about the story.
- Use ARBookfind to find books with quizzes.
- The progress they are making - show an interest in how your child is developing, the progress they are making, their increased confidence and the rise of their Book Level.
- Their quiz activity - use Home Connect to see the books your child has read and celebrate their successful quiz results.
Resources for Parents and Carers
- Accelerated Reader - During school hours (8am - 4pm) students can log-in here to take quizzes or to review their bookshelves and reading progress.
- AR Bookfinder - Search for books that are available to take quizzes on and find out about a book's reading level.
- Home Connect - See the books your child has read, check their quiz activity and set up e-mail notifications.
Should you have any further questions please free to contact us in school.
Mrs V Thomas - Teacher of English and Accelerated Reader Co-ordinator
Miss J Billingsley - Learning Resources Co-ordinator