There is a buzz about reading at Wenlock! Our reading scheme now follows the Accelerated Reader programme.
What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is an on-line tool used for monitoring and managing independent reading practice, motivating pupils to read for pleasure. It is aimed to engage pupils with their reading, increasing their reading comprehension, understanding of the text and improve vocabulary skills.
How does it work?
Every child takes a STAR reading test. They answer multiple choice questions and the test itself becomes easier/harder depending on if children answer the questions correctly. This test gives children their ZPD. We'll be testing once a term to measure children's progress.
What's a ZPD?
ZPD stands for 'Zone of Proximal Development' and simply means the level your child can read at that is not too easy that they become bored and not too difficult that they become frustrated. Your child will be given a range between two numbers eg. 3.5 – 5.5. This means that they can choose books from within their range. You'll find their ZPD on a sticker inside their communication book.
How do the children choose their book?
They visit our snazzy new library! It has been completely reorganised to help children choose books within their individual ranges. There are still lots of books from the old reading scheme and we've purchased plenty of new books too according to the children's wishes such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, books by David Walliams, How to Train Your Dragon and many more! The first thing to do is find the boxes which fit their range and find a book they like.
Next, they need to find the label. This will be either on the back cover, or inside the front cover. This label tells the children the title and author of the book. BL stands for Book Level. This book is a 4.1, which is within the 3.5 – 5.5 range so can be read. For reading this book, the points are displayed underneath.
Children can then read and enjoy their book independently, making sure they also read parts of it to you at home as well.
What happens after they finish the book?
Children need to take a quiz! They can take the quiz on school computers or iPads. It is recommended that children quiz within 24 hours of finishing the book but after the weekend is fine too. The quiz will be either 5, 10 or 20 multiple choice questions, depending on how long the book is. There is no time limit and children need 60% of the questions answered correctly to pass. 85%+ is even better! Their results are displayed at the end, along with how many points they win and how many words they have read in the book.
What if my child has less than 60% of correct answers in their quiz?
They can read the book again in its whole or in parts and give the quiz another go, erasing the previous score. Or, they can leave the quiz on their record and move on to another book. Choosing a new book with a slightly lower ZPD may help them to improve next time.
Can my child do their quizzes at home?
At this moment in time, we would prefer to keep the quizzing in school. There are plenty of opportunities to quiz including:
- During morning registration time
- Daily Guided Reading sessions in class
- Other appropriate times at the direction of their class teacher
Why do children have to take a quiz?
Quizzes measure children's understanding of what they have read. The quizzing tool also helps us as a school to see how many books children have read, the average level they are choosing within their range. It is a real celebration of their enjoyment of a book too.
We have lots of books at home, can my child read those?
You can access AR Book Finder at www.arbookfind.co.uk to check! Search for the book and if the ZPD is within your child's range, then they can read the book and later quiz at school. You can also search by your child's ZPD to help when selecting books from your local library. There is even an option where you can search for books within Wenlock's library in school – simply type in the school code and search our list. Lost the code? Just ask the office for the AR Book Finder letter and it has all the information you need to get you started.
How can I help?
As much as Accelerated Reader supports independent/free reading, this still needs to be recorded in your child's communication book. It is a good idea to still discuss the events of what your child has read also. Try to read at least part of the book with your child, so they are still practising reading aloud to an adult. We will be continuing to listen to each child read in school once a week.
Your feedback is really important, so please let us know how your child is getting on with the new reading scheme. If you have any further queries about Accelerated Reader, please feel free to ask your child's class teacher.