What is the Accelerated Reader Program?
Accelerated Reader is a reading incentive program for our 1st-5th grades that encourages students to read more and better quality books using a reading point system with goals and prizes to motivate. This fun program has been proven to boost student academic performance.
How does the program work?
1. The Students read a book from the Accelerated Reader list for our school. Many of the titles have won major book awards. All the classroom and library books are marked AR along with the Reading Level of the book and the Points possible for taking the test. See the list of picture/chapter books that are on our testing program. Each book has the reading level and points possible listed, as well as if we have it in the classrooms or the library. The Warrenville Public Library has a copy of our school's title list- ask at the children's desk.
2. The students take a multiple-choice comprehension test for the book they have read on the classroom computer-either 5 or 10 questions. They must score 60% on the test to earn credit. For example 80% on a 1.0 point book earns the student 0.8 points. Most "picture" books are 0.5 points. The computer program keeps track of tests taken, points earned, the reading levels of the books, average reading level over-all, average % scored. This information is used for prizes every month.
3. The individual teachers set classroom goals for their students, such as minimum reading levels and monthly point goals. They may use this as part of the students' grades. They may set restrictions, such as not re-testing on books read in previous years (4th and 5th grades).
4. There are some restrictions- we will not accept points for re-testing on any "Harry Potter" books also tested on in an earlier grade (if passed). We will also not accept points earned for reading "picture books" below grade level for 4th and 5th grades.
How are the students motivated to read more?
1. Several Prize Days are held -- students earn prizes according to points earned.
2. Prize Day Raffle of "prize book sets" -one winner from each grade that has earned points for the month. -- Limited to one per year accept at the end of the year Banquet, all students are eligible.
3. We have a "Kick-off Breakfast" in Sept. and an end of the year "Banquet" with prizes -- more info. will be sent home at appropriate times. At the Banquet, all students receive a certificate of participation. The teachers select two students as their classes' "Outstanding Reader" for the year and those names will be placed on our Accelerated Reader Plaque hanging in the school foyer.
*You may read the books to your student or read with them- especially 1st graders who are just learning to read or students transitioning to "chapter books". (Just make sure the reading level is appropriate). We have multiple books marked "Beginning Reader" and "Easy Chapter Book" in the library and classrooms.
*Review the book with your student (or re-read the picture books) the night before testing. The public library has multiple chapter books on tape- have your student read the book first and listen to the tape before testing. It is very frustrating for the students to not pass the comprehension tests if they can't remember the story. The program is not set up to allow students to retake failed tests.
*Make sure your student is reading books at an appropriate level-this will vary from student to student. Many students make the mistake of reading a book at a much higher reading level than their grade. Although they are able to read the material, they don't pass the comprehension test.
*For the students: please don't try to take tests on books you read last year- it is unlikely you will pass the tests. The idea is to read new books- the school library has over 1000 Accelerated Reader books! They cover all interests.
**If your student says "There aren't any good books"... we have almost all the Newbery Medal and Honor winners on our lists that are in print, hundreds of popular and award winning books and series in all grade levels. We have spent hours searching for the best in children's literature as well as fun books such as the "Captain Underpants" series and the "Harry Potter" series. (Did you know both series have received many awards and recognition?) If your student needs suggestions- just ask!! For it's size, our school library has an excellent fiction selection, primarily due to the books added for the Accelerated Reader Program.
Who supports Accelerated Reader?
The program is part of the school's curriculum for 1st-5th grades but is totally supported by PACE fundraisers and parent donations. It is by far the largest yearly budget item for PACE. We would encourage you to donate gently used books, small items for prizes, top level prizes (~ value $10-$20). Manna certificates to toy stores and bookstores are a big hit. Garage sales are a great source of used books. The less PACE spends on prizes, the more we are able to spend on new title discs and books!
Remember: reading with comprehension is a skill that will help your student have future academic success--as well as being fun. Encourage active participation in our Accelerated Reader Program, even when it seems it's just one more homework assignment to do. The rewards for your student will be numerous (and not just the prizes!)