Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that will help to develop your child’s independent reading. It works in quite a simple way: your child will pick a book at their own level and when finished, they will take a short quiz on a laptop or iPad in school or at home. If your child passes the quiz about what they have read, then this tells us that they have fully understood the content of the book. By passing the quiz, they will also gain ‘points’, depending on the difficulty/length of the book they read.
Each term, the children in KS2 take a test on a computer or tablet called STAR Reading. The test uses multiple-choice timed questions to determine a child's reading level. Questions in STAR reading adjust to a child's responses so if they respond correctly, the difficulty increases and if they answer incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced. When a child has completed the test, their teacher can find out their 'Zone of Proximal Development' (ZPD). This will be given to each child on a book mark.
At Longfleet, we call the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) the book level range. This is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Books that have a quiz on AR are given a 'book level' which represent the difficulty of the text. Book levels range from 0.5-13.5. Children should choose books within their range to make the most progress in their reading.
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a points value. AR points are based on the length of the book (number of words). Pupils earn a percentage of points according to how well they pass the quiz. The Interest Level indicates for which age group a book is suitable for. It does this based on the content and themes.
The two examples above both have a Book Level of 4.0. This is because both have short sentences and simple vocabulary. However, ‘Noughts and Crosses’ is worth 14 Points because it’s quite a lengthy text and is intended for Upper Years’ students. Meanwhile ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ is worth 0.5 Points as it is much shorter and it is intended for Lower Years.
As mentioned above, children take a quiz once they have finished their book. It is important that children take their quiz as soon as possible after finishing their book (no more that a week later!) as this can affect their scores. Once they have finished their quiz, children can immediately see if they have passed. If they pass, they can review their incorrect answers.
To make it easier to identify which books at school have a quiz, they have been labelled on their spines with an animal sticker. This sticker gives an idea of the book level.
Children can check if a book has a new quiz or if a book from home has a quiz by searching for it on the AR Book Finder website. The advanced search on the website is also really useful for finding further books in a specific range.
If you find a favourite book without a quiz, you can suggest a book to be quizzed by filling in the form found in the link at the top of the page (suggested book to be quizzed).
Once a child is quizzing, they receive a word count on their quiz report which is the total number of words that they have read. This is accumulated as they complete books/quizzes and once they reach 1 million, they become a 'millionaire reader'. They are then presented with 2 x one million pound notes. One they place on a class display (named) and one is brought home, as recognition of their effort. They will also be celebrated in class as this is really is an incredible achievement! They will then progress to 2 million, 3 million....!
We also have a hotly contested competition between the classes in Key Stage 2 to see which has earned the most points in their quizzing. Each half term, the class in each year group who has earned the most points, will receive £50 to spend on their choice of books for their book corner!