In school children in P5, 6 & 7 (when ready) use an online programme called 'Accelerated Reader'. This is our second year to use the programme and it has been successful in motivating many children to read more, developing reading skills and raising standards in literacy. Accelerated Reader also enables teachers to monitor what children are reading more easily. Accelerated Reader books are just ‘normal’ books, but an online quiz has been devised to assess understanding when children have finished reading their books.
Below is an overview of how this system works.
- At school children complete a diagnostic Star Reading test on line at the beginning of each term. This test assigns children with a reading age and also generated a ZPD, (zone of proximal development) which identifies the level of books children are best suited to read. This test is repeated several times throughout the school year to ensure that children continue to progress through reading levels and the books they read are matched as accurately as possible, to their ability.
- Children are told by their teachers which level of books they need to select from labels stuck on the book spines.
- Each Accelerated Reader book, whether fact or fiction has a unique quiz number and varying amounts of points can be scored by completing a quiz accurately. The number of points awarded on a book is largely dependent on the length of the book and its complexity. Points are collected when children score above 85% in quizzes. Points are accumulated over a period of time and the programme automatically generates reading certificates for children.
- Each child is given their own user name and password, and once they have read a book they can log on to the Accelerated Reader and complete the online quiz.
- Quizzes are found by entering either the book title or quiz number. Quizzes can only be taken in school. It is recommended that as soon as possible after a book has been completed, a quiz should be taken. Pupils should indicate to their teachers when they are ready to complete a quiz.
- Children receive instant feedback on their quiz. Quiz scores are recorded by teachers. You cannot take a book quiz twice. Pupil records of both AR tests and Star Reader scores are kept and passed on to the next teacher at the end of June. Children are encouraged to read books that are within their ZPD range and should achieve scores of 85%. Continuous score of 100% do not suggest that the books are too easy; in fact they indicate that a child is reading well and within their ability level.
- Mrs Clarke (Accelerated Reader Co-ordinator), class teachers and Mrs Lonsdale & Mr Glenny (Literacy Co-ordinator and Literacy team) closely monitor children’s progress throughout each term, to identify children achieving success as well as those not reading or achieving points or certificates. Accelerated Reader certificates and prizes are awarded through the school year.
- The main principal of the programme is to promote a lifelong love of reading in each and every child, regardless of ability or aptitude.
What can you do to support your child?
- Take an interest in what your child is reading and encourage him or her to read, both fiction and non-fiction books. Make sure that you have lots of books and magazines around the house, visit the local library and show your child how to access eBooks. Talk about books you have read, authors you have enjoyed and NEVER stop reading to your child, regardless of their age! Listening to others reading aloud encourages children to read with fluency and expression themselves.
- Children should be encouraged to read independently for approximately 10-30 minutes every day. Discuss what your child has read, ask him or her to reflect on the material, character, plot, events etc. Use a dictionary to find the meaning of any new or difficult words and at the end of Key stage 2 children will be expected to be able to write a summary of what has been read.
- Remember that reading is an on-going and integral part of your child’s Literacy Homework.
- It is not a race; children are not expected to complete a test every day of the week. We want your child to enjoy reading books.
- Research has proven over many years, that the more a child reads and is exposed to different types of reading materials, the better they are at spelling and also have a much better developed vocabulary or word bank which is transferred into written work