A Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader
As a new first grade parent, I was overwhelmed with all the reading. What is this thing called AR and why does my kid have to take quizzes every week over books. Why is AR important, what are all these numbers, how do I find books for them to read? No worries, it's been 4 years and I've had 2 kids go through AR since that time, I got you! I've even created a book list to go with this guide just for you! Your book list contains all the resources and links along with AR book suggestions for your children.
What is Accelerated Reader and why are we doing this?
Accelerated Reader is a computer program used by schools to monitor reading practice and progress. Each school and/or district has created its own standard or rules for AR. Some schools require students to read at a certain level by a certain grade, we'll talk more about levels later. A school also sets the AR Points goal for each grade/student. If you are having problems with the AR rules, talk to your teacher or principal. They will be able to explain why your school has set the AR goals your child is working towards.
Reading Levels, Interest Levels, and Points what do these mean?
"Mom, my book must be a 2.1-2.4 3 point book", have you heard your child rattle off similar numbers before? Each book has a book level, a 2.5 book means it's text could likely be read independently by a student whose reading skills are at the level of a typical second-grader in the fifth month of school. Just because a book is in your child's reading level, doesn't mean the content is appropriate for your child. Content is something you need to check with your librarian or book lady (Me!) as we can help you know if the story is what you would like your child to read. You can also check the content by Interest level attached to the book. Interest levels are recommended by the publisher or book reviews by professional organizations. On my website you can read the reviews by professionals and parents on our review tab. As always, the final decision on whether a book's content is appropriate for a child is left to the parents, school librarian, or teachers.
Your child probably has an AR goal for the semester or quarter. This goal is most likely based on AR Points, like I said earlier, every school is different in this area. Each book has a point level from .5 points all the way up to the teens! The point level of the book is based on the length (word count) and text difficulty. Your child may find a variety of books in their reading level but they all have a different number of points associated with them. I know for a while we were not allowed to read books over a 2 point level and then we became more confident and could read higher point books.
Do all books have AR Quizzes? No, but they can! If your child finds a book that does not have an AR quiz you can request a quiz to be added to the book. My favorite way to find out if a book has an AR quiz is to scan it with a free app called Points Scan Free. You can also lookup Usborne Books and More books AR levels at - ubamleveling.com. We read our AR chapter books 3 times before taking the quiz, but this is not required, always follow your schools requirements. The AR quiz is mostly to make sure your child reads the book and checks to see how much they are comprehending while reading. Each school will have a percentage required to pass the AR Quiz sometimes it is 80-85%.
The most important thing to remember is to have FUN reading! Reading books below your level, at your level and above you level will keep your child interested, challenged and having fun! Don't forget to download your AR Booklist!
Have fun and keep reading!