At Mariposa Elementary we use Accelerated Reader (also called "AR") to monitor student's individual reading goals and comprehension of text. Each student in grades 1st-5th have an Accelerated Reading goal each trimester.
Speak to your child's teacher to learn more about your child's individual reading goal.
Reading is a skill. As with every skill, it requires instruction and practice. Reading practice enables students to apply the skills and strategies they learn from their teachers. It gives teachers opportunities to check student learning and identify weaknesses. It draws students into the world of “real” reading: the kind of reading of which people learn from and enjoy books or novels.
Practice does not automatically lead to growth, however. To be effective, practice must have certain attributes: Reading practice must be at the right level of difficulty, cover a satisfactory amount of time, be guided by the teacher, and be enjoyable enough to maintain.
The purpose of Accelerated Reader (AR) is to enable powerful practice. It does this by:
- Providing data for teachers to help monitor and personalize reading practice.
- Encouraging substantial amounts of practice, according to guidelines based on research findings.
- Making practice fun for students by facilitating successful encounters with text
There are a few basic steps to how Accelerated Reader works. 1.) The teacher schedules time for daily reading practice, additional to the instructional reading period. During this time, the students select and read books from the school library or the teacher’s personal library that match their individual ability levels and interests. 2.) When a student finishes a book, he or she takes an AR Reading Practice Quiz on the computer. This quiz assesses general comprehension of the book just read. 3.) Accelerated Reader scores the quiz, keeps track of the results, and generates reports. The teacher uses this data to monitor each student’s practice, guide students to appropriate books, and target instruction. One of these reports, the TOPS Report, can be viewed on the computer at the end of the quiz as well as at home through HomeConnect. This is an opportunity for students and their teacher to confer about the results of the quiz, reinforce good work, and provide guidance on which book to choose next.
To assess students reading comprehension accurately, we ask that students take AR quizzes without parent assistance. AR quizzes should be taken in the classroom under the supervision of the classroom teacher. Students may take a quiz in the library as long as they are supervised by an adult volunteer other than the parent. Finally, students are not to miss class time to take an AR quiz in the library as there are opportunities during the school day for students to take quizzes as needed.
AR books are assigned points based on the book level, the number of words in the book and a few other mathematical calculations. It is important to note that points earned are a measure of reading practice, not a measure of a reward students earn or a grade they receive. Points should be set as a personalized goal. In this way, each student’s ability level is taken into account and every student is enabled to succeed and grow. Earning points at the end of a trimester should not be a race or competition with others. Students work towards their own individualized goals. After students finish reading a book and take a Reading Practice Quiz, a student earns points based on the book’s point value and how well s/he did on the quiz. This is where a teacher views the points as a measure of reading practice - a summary of quantity, quality, and difficulty. Reading practice can take place almost anywhere. Students can read when they finish class assignments early or finish with household chores at home; this motivates students to spend free time reading and reinforces the view that reading is its own reward.