Accelerated Reader Program

Reading
Accelerated Reader

We will be using Accelerated Reader in my classroom.  This is a web based program that we use in grades 3-5 that helps boost students' reading comprehension.  Here is a list of possible questions that parents and students may have about how we will use it in my classroom.  I hope you will find the answers to be helpful!

How many books are on the Accelerated Reading book list?

There are over 100,000 titles on the AR list.

Where can students get AR books to read?

There are several places that children can get AR stories and books to read:

  • Erving's School Library-we have over 10,000 books in our library and about 90-95% are on the AR list.
  • Classroom Library-I have over 1,000 books in my classroom library that are on the AR list.
  • Home libraries-Chances are many books that you already have at home are on the AR list.
  • Public Library-There are many many AR books at the local Public Libraries.
  • Scholastic Book Clubs-Students have the option of purchasing books through our Scholastic Book Club orders.  Most of the titles offered are on the AR list.
When do students have the opportunity to read AR books?

Students in my class have multiple opportunities to read AR books:

  • EVERY story in our Reading Book is on the AR list.  On an average, we cover 1 story per week.  Each one is worth 0.5 points.
  • We have 20 minutes of Silent Reading in class everyday.  Each student selects approximately 7 books at a time from our classroom library and keep them in their own personal book box.  During Silent Reading, they read the books that they have selected.  When they have finished reading a book, they record the title and AR quiz number on their "in class" Reading Log.
  • The students in my class are required to read 60 minutes per week at home and record what they have read on their Home Reading Log.  Students can take AR tests on the books that they've read at home, too.
  • In addition, I present a number of AR books each week to the class through a variety of resources:
    • Books that I read out loud to the class
    • Books that I present electronically to the class
    • Reading Rainbow Books
  • We also go to our school library once a week.  Third grade students are allowed to check out two books at a time.  After they have made their selection, they can start reading their library books in the media center until our scheduled time is over.
  • Sometimes, we have Guest Readers come to our classroom and/or our school to read to our children-especially in March, which is National Reading Month.
  • Guided Reading with small groups is another way that we enjoy AR books.

How do the students earn AR points?
Each book on the AR list is worth a certain amount of AR points, based upon the reading level, complexity, and length of the selection.  Short stories are usually worth 0.5 points.  Chapter books typically begin with a value of 1 point and increase in point value according to the book's level of difficulty.  For example, Junie B. Jones books are usually worth 1 point.  On the other end of the range, books such as Harry Potter are worth between 12 points and 44 points, depending on the title.

After the students have read a selection, they can take an AR quiz on it.  Students must score at least 60% to earn any AR points for each selection and the points earned are based upon their quiz score.  For example, the stories in our Reading Book are each worth 0.5 points.  If a student scores 60% on the AR test, he/she will earn 60% of the 0.5 points possible.  (In this example, the child would get 0.3 points.)  If a student scored 80% on the AR quiz, he/she would earn 0.4 points and if a student scored 100% on the AR quiz, he or she would earn the total 0.5 points possible.

Typically, most of the third grade level selections have 5-10 questions on each AR quiz.  Higher level books with higher point values often have more AR questions.  For example, the Harry Potter AR quizzes usually have 20 questions to be answered.

How do I know if a book is on the AR list?
Parents and students can use the following link to check whether a book is on the AR list, the reading levels for each title, and how many AR points they are worth:

http://www.arbookfind.com/UserType.aspx

When can students take AR tests?
I have two computers in my classroom for my students to use.  Whenever they have "free time", they are welcome to use a computer to take a test.  I also allow students to take tests during our silent reading time, when it is their turn.  Plus, every week, I take my entire class to the Computer Lab so that every single child can take any AR tests that they are ready to do.

What are the students' AR goals per trimester?
Since each trimester is 12 weeks long, my goal for my children is to earn at least 1 point per week for 12 or more points per card marking period.  If a student earns 12 points and there are still a number of days left in the trimester, the students will then create their own goal as to how many points they can earn by the end of the marking period.

If a student earns more than 12 points in a trimester, will the extra points earn carry over for the second trimester?

The answer to this question is both yes and no.  Yes, the students will continue to increase their "year to date" points from one trimester to the next.  However, they must earn 12 new AR  points per trimester.

For example, suppose a student earns 20 points in the first trimester.  Then, in the second trimester, the new goal that I set for them is to reach 32 points (20 points from the first trimester + 12 NEW AR points = 32 points.)

How do the students keep track of how many AR points they need to reach their goal?

Each student has a data binder with an AR page, where we periodically update how many points they have earned and how many are needed to reach their goal.  Approximately once every 7-10 days, I have a "mini conference" with each student and help them update their data.

Are the students rewarded for achieving their goals?

YES!  First of all, Mrs. Olsen, our librarian has created an AR wall in the Media Center.  Whenever a child reaches his or her goal, they are given a symbol to post their accomplishment.

Secondly, all students who earn 30 or more total AR points by the end of the school year in third grade will be invited to attend a Celebration Party sponsored by our PTO to celebrate their success!

How many points can a third grade student possibly earn?

It really depends on the individual.  Personally, I am thrilled when my children reach their 12 point goal per trimester. 

However, they truly can earn more.  Actually, the sky is the limit! I have had many many children earn more than 100 points in third grade.  Several have earned 200+ points.  My all time highest point winner throughout the past 10 years of using AR earned 414 points while being in my class!

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If you have any other questions, please let me know!