Our pupils in Key Stage 2 are all part of the Accelerated Reader (ARTM) programme. At Cliffe Hill School, we are passionate about ensuring children are reading appropriate books and more importantly that they are understanding these texts. Reading is given priority within the curriculum. Here are some specific questions and answers relating to Accelerated Reader.
What is Accelerated Reader (AR)?
AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Children in KS2 at Cliffe Hill school, pick a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, children take a short quiz on the computer - passing the quiz is an indication that the child has understood what has been read. AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to help the child set targets and ongoing reading practice.
Children using AR have a free choice of the books they read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they feel in control and can choose books that are interesting to them. Teachers will help your child choose books that are at an appropriate reading level. These will be challenging without being frustrating and will also be at a level at which your child can pass the quiz and experience success. If your child does not do well on the quiz, the teacher may assist him/her by:
- Helping choose another book that is more appropriate
- Asking more probing questions as your child reads and before he/she takes a quiz
- Pairing your child with another pupil or even having the book read to your child.
In most cases, children really enjoy taking the quizzes. Since they are reading books at their own reading and interest levels, they are likely to be successful. This is satisfying for most children. Best of all they learn and grow at their own pace.
How does the school determine my child’s reading level?
Teachers determine your child’s reading level in one of three ways: a STAR Reading test, a reading age estimation from a standardised test, or by using his/her best professional judgment based on his/her knowledge of your child.
What is a STAR Reading test?
STAR Reading is a computer based reading assessment program 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 minutes.
What is a Book Level?
Book Levels are reported using the ATOSTM readability formula and represent the difficulty of the text. For example, a book level of 4.5 means that the text could likely be read by a pupil whose reading skills are at the level of a typical year five pupil. Normally, however, books are chosen based on the ZPD range recommended for each pupil by STAR Reading.
What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
In independent literature-based reading, ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a STAR Reading test or teachers can use their best professional judgment to determine a ZPD. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within his/her ZPD. ZPDs should be adjusted based on the needs and ability of your child.
What are points?
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a points value. AR points are based on the difficulty of the book (ATOS readability level) and the length of the book (number of words).
Children earn points on a pro rata basis depending on how well they do on the Reading Practice Quiz. For example, a pupil who takes a 5-question quiz on a book worth 1 point will earn 1 point for 5 correct answers (100%), 0.8 point for 4 correct answers (80%) and so on. A pupil who reads a book worth 5 points and takes a 10-question quiz will earn 5 points for 10 correct answers (100%) 4.5 points for 9 correct answers (90%), etc. A child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 60% or higher to earn points.
My child is not a strong reader. Can he/she still use Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader helps all children at Cliffe Hill School 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.
What are the incentives?
To ensure that the system is fair for all levels of readers, we have introduced the 100% Club. Rather than children earning a reward for the number of points they accrue (which would not be fair as higher level reading books are worth more points), we have introduced a system which looks at the accuracy of the child’s understanding of a text.
Every month, the class teacher will look at their class to see which children are accurately testing and achieving 100% on their book quizzes. Any child who has achieved this will receive a special certificate, bookmark and can visit Mrs Craven for a treat!
Click here to access our Accelerated Reader Login page