What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is a program that is based on children reading library books and then answering questions about what they have read. That is the simple answer. The more complex answer is that the program also levels the books so that students can choose books that are appropriate to their reading level. The program, because it is based on library books, tends to allow students to choose books that interest them.
My child talks about "points," what are points?
Each book in the program is worth a set number of points based on the grade level of the book, the length, and the complexity of the material. Books in our library range from .5 to 14 points. Point values and grade levels for each book can be found on the spine of the book. A list of our AR books, grade levels, and points can be found on our website.
How do you get the points?
Once a child reads a book they can go to any computer in the school, log-on to their personal account, and take a quiz for that book. Quizzes are 5 to 10 questions about what they have read. If a child gets more than 70% of the questions correct they are awarded points. Points are tabulated and stored by the computer in each child’s individual account. Also, a report is printed immediately after a child takes a quiz that tells how the child did and how many cumulative points they have. Ask your child to bring these home so that you can see how they are doing.
You mean if my child doesn’t do well on the quiz they won’t get points, but they read the book, shouldn’t they get something?
We are after comprehension--understanding what is read. If a child "reads" a book but can’t answer 10 questions about the book with 70% accuracy did they really read the book? When a child fails a quiz it is usually because of one of two reasons: 1) The book was too hard for them; or 2) They "read" the book but did not take the time to understand the book. Teachers who find students who are consistently failing quizzes work with the students to choose other books or to work on their comprehension.
Can a child re-take a quiz for a book?
No and yes, once a child has taken a quiz the computer blocks the child from re-taking that quiz. This insures that students look for new books to read. If a child fails a quiz and their teacher feels that they would benefit from getting a second chance the teacher may request for Mrs. Miyasaki, our librarian, to have the computer make the quiz available to the student. A student is allowed to retake a quiz only one time while at Dry Creek.
Do students ever cheat by copying answers?
The program makes this difficult. The computer changes the order of questions for each student who takes a quiz. We stress Character Counts to these students. Also, when we first started students would watch a movie, like Charlotte’s Web, and then try taking the quiz for the book. It doesn’t work. The questions are created so that a student must read the book to successfully answer questions.
My child says they have to have read a "minimum" number of points per quarter?
Yes, we are requiring every student to read and pass quizzes for a minimum number of points per quarter. Teachers are using this as a portion of the student's reading grade. For each quarter the minimum points for each grade level are: Second - 2.5, Third - 5, Fourth - 8, Fifth - 10, and Sixth - 12. These are not unreasonable levels of points to achieve if a child reads consistently throughout the quarter. Use of Accelerated Reader is optional for first grade classes.
If you have additional questions about the program please contact your child’s teacher.