A parents guide to Accelerated Reader.

What is it?

Accelerated Reader is an online software programme from a company called Renaissance Learning.  At East Wittering School we use Accelerated Reader to support the children’s reading in Key Stage Two.  Some of the most talented readers in Key Stage One also use the software. The focus is on reading comprehension; this is why the children do not start the programme until they have good reading strategies.

Accelerated Reader is based on two main pieces of software; Star Tests and Reading Quizzes. 

What is a ‘Star Test’?

Each child has a user name and password.  At the start of the year the children log on to the Renaissance Learning site at school and take a ‘Star Test’.  It is a reading comprehension test. The length of the test and the difficulty will vary depending on the answers the children give.  Class teachers are then able to print the test results and check the children have taken a book from the library at the correct level.  The books that come home will have a coloured sticker and an accelerated reader sticker on them.  Charts to explain the levels are on display around school and in the library. Please encourage your child to look after any reading books that belong to the school.

The children take further star tests during the school year to check their progress. These results are one piece of the information class teachers use to assess the children’s overall reading level.

What are reading quizzes?

All of the fiction books in the school library have been checked on ’AR Bookfinder’ and have an accelerated reader quiz.  The children can read their accelerated reader book independently or to an adult; in school or at home. 

When they have finished the book they can log on to the Renaissance site in school and take the quiz for the book.  They are not able to take quizzes at home and in school they work independently without the book. They are aiming to get 85% of the questions correct.  They will know their results immediately and can share the result with the class teacher.

Your child may be reading additional books at home.  As long as they have read them independently or to an adult (not had them read to them) they can take a quiz for these books in school. To check whether a book has a quiz go to www.arbookfinder.co.uk

Class teachers regularly access the quiz records for each child and use the information to set targets for how many books they should be reading and at which level.

How are the children rewarded? 

All quizzes result in the children earning points depending on how many questions they get right.  The points build up and levelled certificates are automatically awarded. These certificates are awarded at celebration assemblies.

How can parents help?

Renaissance Learning is very keen for parents to keep in touch with their child’s reading.  ‘Home Connect’ provides parents with a snapshot of their child’s reading progress, including average percentages correct on quizzes and points earned. You and your child can also view the bookshelf – this shows you the books you child has taken quizzes on so far.

To access Home Connect go to the school website www.eastwittering.w-sussex.sch.uk and look on the left hand menu for Accelerated Reader. You will need you child’s user name and password.  Many of the children know these off by heart others may have them written in their homework books/reading records.  You can set up home connect so an e-mail is sent to your home e-mail address each time your child takes a quiz.

What else does Renaissance Learning offer?

When a child has taken a reading quiz they can also take a vocabulary quiz for the same book.  The vocabulary test is checking their understanding of the words used in the text and it can be re taken at any time unlike the reading quizzes.  Teachers access the results of these vocabulary tests and use the information to plan word work in class.

Monitoring Children’s Progress

The teacher section of accelerated reader provides detailed information about the children’s reading and success.  It highlights areas of concern and enables the class teacher to monitor the children’s reading fully.

The progress being made in reading, as well as Writing and Maths, is shared with parents at Open Evening but it can be discussed at other times if you are concerned.

If you would like any further information then please ask your child’s class teacher or come and see me.

(Literacy Co-ordinator)