How Can You Help At Home?
First of all, come to our physical meetings and watch our webinars. We hold these to give parents and carers practical advice about how you can help.
We appreciate you’re busy but here are two things that will make the biggest difference to your child’s progress.
1. Read a bedtime story to your child.
Your child will bring home lovely library books from school. Read bedtime stories to your child – don’t ask them to read the story themselves as this is beyond their current reading stage.
2. Listen to your child read the storybook we send home.
Your child will bring home reading books. They will be able to read this book more confidently each time they read it and there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading and re-reading familiar books. Please do not say “This book is too easy!” Praise your child for how well they read it – celebrate what a great reader they are. They’ll sometimes bring home previous stories they have read too. Re-reading stories develops their fluency on every reading.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. At Acorns Primary School, children in Year 3 upwards use AR, with children in Year 2 using the system after Christmas.
How does Accelerated Reader work?
Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set targets and direct ongoing reading practice.
Children using AR choose their own books, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. Children can also take quizzes on books that have been read to them, e.g. by parents and teachers.
How much will my child read during the school day?
According to research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day in school and 20 minutes a day at home with a 90% comprehension rate (average percentage correct) on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, your child will have 20 minutes set aside for reading during each school day. Please replicate this at home too.
How can I help my child become a better reader?
As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookshop on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading and discussing books that each of you have read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child’s age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning and creating a loving relationship between you and your child. Make learning a family affair!
How does the school determine my child’s reading level?
Teachers determine your child’s reading level in one of three ways: a STAR Reading™ test, a reading age estimation from a standardised test or by using their best professional judgement based on their knowledge of your child. STAR Reading is a computerised reading assessment that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses. If the child’s response to a question is correct, the difficulty level of the next question is increased. If the child misses a question, the difficulty level of the next question is reduced. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 10 minutes.
What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
In independent literature-based reading, ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a STAR Reading test or teachers can use their best professional judgement to determine a ZPD. It is important for children to read with a high degree of comprehension and within their ZPDs. ZPDs should be adjusted based on the needs of your child.
What are points?
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a point value. AR points are computed based on the difficulty of the book and the length of the book. Children earn points, or a portion of a book’s points, 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 will earn 1 point for 5 correct answers (100%), 0.8 point for 4 correct answers (80%), etc. A child who reads a book worth 5 points and takes a 10-question quiz will earn 5 points for 10 correct answers (100%), 4.5 points for 9 correct answers (90%), etc.
For quizzes with 3, 5 or 10 questions, a child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 60% or higher to earn points. For quizzes with 20 questions, a child needs to pass with a score of 70% or higher to earn points.
How many Accelerated Reader quizzes are there?
There are over 26,000 AR quizzes available, with more being written every month.
Accelerated Reader includes several types of quizzes designed to support the development of several reading skills. The quizzes we use at Acorns Primary School are: -
How will I know if a book has an AR quiz?
To know which quizzes your school has available, contact your child’s teacher or librarian. You can also visit the AR BookFinder™ at www.arbookfind.co.uk to conduct a search of all available books with AR quizzes.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Accelerated Reader Home Connect is a tool that connects the school and home to keep parents informed of their child’s progress toward Accelerated Reader and encourages the child to practice reading at home.
How does Home Connect help me improve my child’s reading progress?
To log in to the Home Connect website:
Click on the Home Connect apple below.
The same login and password that your child uses at school will work at home to sign up for Home Connect. Children can only take Accelerated Reader quizzes at school.