Click here to access a Parent's Guide to Accelerated Reader.
Click here for a list of books in Accelerated Reader program.
A GUIDE TO SMITHFIELD’S ACCELERATED READER PROGRAM
One of the missions at Smithfield is to ensure that all learners acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed. Reading is a foundation for this success. And as with most things in life, reading performance improves with practice.
To make your student’s reading practice more effective, Smithfield PTA provides our students with access to a powerful tool, the Accelerated Reader program (AR). This online program helps to manage your child’s reading activity and build a solid reading foundation – ultimately leading to a Lifelong Love of Reading.
Personalizing Your Child’s Reading Practice To Their Individual Needs
In the Accelerated Reader Program, each student’s reading level is determined at the beginning of each quarter with an online STAR Reading Test. STAR Reading is a computerized reading assessment that uses adaptive technology. Questions on the test continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
The STAR Reading Test provides a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) for each student. The ZPD provides a range of book levels that will challenge your child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within their ZPD.
Selecting Books to Read
All Accelerated Reader books are assigned a book level that represents the difficulty of the text. For example, an ATOS book level of 4.5 means that the text could likely be ready independently by a student whose reading skills are at the level of a typical fourth grader in the fifth month of school.
It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension. For this reason, students should select books within their ZPD range. To ensure student’s stay within their range, teachers have set boundaries that prevent taking tests outside a range based on their ZPD.
Every book in the AR program has a Point Value. AR points are computed based on the difficulty of the book and the length of the text. The more difficult the text and the greater the amount of text, the higher the book’s Point Value.
The online AR Book Finder allows students and parents to find books for future reading. Book searches can be made specific to a student’s reading level, areas of interest, subject matter, authors. These books can be placed in a convenient “bookbag” for future access. There are over 130,000 books available to students. This online tool can be easily accessed through the Smithfield website à Student Enrichment à Accelerated Reader.
A selection of books can even be read online through Sylvan Dell Publishing, free to Smithfield families. Access this online tool by selecting the Sylvan logo on the Smithfield home page.
Setting Accelerated Reader Point Goals
Based on your child’s ZPD and their expected daily practice time, a Points Goal is set for each child. This is the minimum that each child is expected to read during the quarter. In addition, each child is provided with a Comprehension Accuracy goal of 85%.
Reading and Quizzing for Comprehension
After reading a book, students take reading practice quizzes to test comprehension. Each test is taken online and provides the student with immediate feedback on their results. This feedback, allows students and teachers to assess whether students comprehend their reading and adjust reading styles and necessary to ensure success. Taking quizzes is limited to school hours only.
Children earn points, or a portion of the book’s point, depending on how well they do on the Reading Practice Quiz. For example, a child who takes a 5 question quiz on a book worth 1 point would earn 1 point for 5 correct answers, .8 for 4 correct answers, etc. Students must pass a quiz with a 60% or higher to earn points for the book.
Each child’s progress in the AR program is monitored by the child’s classroom teacher. Parents are also encouraged to become involved in the monitoring process. An online tool, Renaissance Home Connect, is available to parents to facilitate monitoring. This online tool can also be access through the Smithfield website à Student Enrichment à Accelerated Reader. To access your child’s individual records, you will need their Log In information: User Name and Password. Your child’s teacher can provide this to you. This wonderful tool allows you to see (in real time) your child’s overall Comprehension Accuracy, Points earned, Book Level, and information on the last reading practice quiz. Selecting the “Book Shelf” feature of this page, you can see every quiz taken by your child in the program. To keep you up to date, select the “Email Setup” feature. This will allow you to receive emails each time your child takes a quiz.
In addition to online monitoring, visual aids have been made a prominent part every classroom. Each child can quickly see their progress as they work towards their point goal.
To increase visibility one step further and add a some friendly classroom competition, classes are also monitored for overall success in the program. An Accelerated Reader Leader Board is prominently displayed in the main gallery of our school to show which classes are in the lead to reaching their goals each week.
Individual student success for reaching “Points” and “Accuracy” goals is recognized on a quarterly basis. For students reaching their goal, students are awarded an AR medal. Students collect these medals on a chain and provide a real point of pride. Many students proudly wear chains that have medals from every quarter of attendance at Smithfield. Each student awarded a medal is recognized at Quarterly Recognition Ceremonies.
We also celebrate individual success with quarterly AR Celebrations. These celebrations provide us with an excellent opportunity to encourage success – and help illustrate that reading and the AR program can be a great deal of fun.
How Can You Help Your Child Become A Better Reader?
Create a culture of reading in your home:
· Read with your child – stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child is important, no matter what the child’s age.
· Let your child see you reading.
· Discuss books that each of you has read.
· Set-Up Daily reading times – children appreciate routines and reading can quickly become a fun part of daily activity.
· Visit your local library or bookstore on a regular basis
Stay involved with your child’s progress in the Accelerated Reader program. Ask them how they are doing on both their Points and Comprehension Accuracy Goals on a daily basis.
Encourage you child to read, read and read some more . . . performance improves with practice.
Together, we can build a Lifelong Love of Reading for Every Student !