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Accelerated reader programme

(25 Posts)
taurean Sun 23-Jan-11 20:48:13

Does anyone know much about the accelerated reader programme where children read books then do quizzes on the computer. My DC's school is positively evangelical about it and my DS in Y1 has just started using it but I've never heard of it anywhere else.

Any experiences of it? It does seem a good idea in that their comprehension is tested in the quizzes, although no more very quick read of the book before bed, need to check it's properly understood now!

Pterosaur Sun 23-Jan-11 21:36:57

I'm also interested in this, as DD2's school has just started using the scheme. She is in year 6 and can read competently, so I'm curious about it rather than personally much concerned about its effectiveness.

DD has a slight problem with level angst - she was allocated 'level 5 to 12' she said, after a comprehension test in school, and wanted to go straight to level 12 (Hamlet is 10.5). Then she discovered that what she wanted to read was on level 4. I've encouraged her to read what she wants, and promised to speak to her teacher if that's a problem - she's told everyone to make sure they're choosing books on the correct level, but I'm assuming there's a certain amount of leeway if the books are reasonably appropriate (Anthony Horowitz's Power of Five series in this case). My concern is that though DD loves to read, she's quite hard to please, and I don't want her choice further restricted by the limits of the scheme. The highest-ranked book she's ever read, as far as we can see, is Quidditch Through The Ages, would you believe (8.2), with HP And The Order Of The Phoenix, which she read in year 3, in second place at 7.2. Philip Pullman's Northern Lights is 6.2. I keep meaning to look further into how these levels are calculated. I'd be interested to know what Philip Pullman would make of it, as he disapproves of even putting suggested age ranges on the covers of his books.

Some of the levels seem to be a bit arbitrary at the levels for children who can read pretty fluently - I'm curious to see how people are finding the ones intended for younger children.

The comprehension tests seem to be quite popular (they remind of the Gareth Malone programme on boys and reading, where he was advocating competitive tests to motivate boys). DD is often reluctant to discuss what she's reading, so I'm happy that she's apparently demonstrating her understanding of each book.

Does anyone know how widespread this scheme is?

Pterosaur Sun 23-Jan-11 21:37:22

That went on a bit, didn't it?

taurean Mon 24-Jan-11 07:31:26


taurean Mon 24-Jan-11 19:07:59

Anyone? Really interested to hear anything about it!

LauraSmurf Mon 24-Jan-11 19:33:24

I am interested. I teach and have seen Accelerated Reader (AR) in 3 previous schools. It works well as it encourages self motivation and also checks comprehension. The ladder like progression of what level of reader you become is helpful from a school point of view as we can see roughly how well they are reading.

The down sides can be that children choose books because of their 'level' not because they are excited by the book. I teach year 6 and they have gotten over this but it is a problem with younger children at times.
The school has to be pretty strict about printing out a presenting certificates and updating targets which can often be forgotten so parents feel left out of the loop and children get demotivated.

All in all i think it as a pretty powerful program as there are so many quizzes avaliable. Quizzes are avaliable for books that schools don't have too, so books from the library or bookshops can be tested too.

taurean Mon 24-Jan-11 20:33:22

Thank you, that's really interesting, I'll keep a look out for the certificates. Think using the computer after reading a book is the main attraction to my DS at the moment but anything which encourages him!

pozzled Mon 24-Jan-11 20:40:18

My school has just started it and I'm quite impressed by it so far. It does appear very motivating for the children, and as a teacher I find it's useful to have the levels. I know there are other ways of making sure children have appropriate reading books, but this simplifies things.

Like Pterosaur I would like to know more about how the levels are calculated though, the books within a level do seem to vary quite a bit.

propatria Tue 25-Jan-11 09:26:16

Ok a few things about the scheme,its American so if for example your child is on a level 4.5 books that is the level a grade 4 child in the fifth month of the education year would be expected to be on.
Schools tend to use the scheme in different ways,some say if you get 9 or 10 in a test you go up a sub level ,others say you have to pass two tests before you can go up,others say not only a minimum of tests but you have to obtain a certain number of points in a certain time scale to maintain the level or improve it.
The appropriate books thing isnt solved by this scheme as you have to really hunt around for books ith suitable content if your child is an advanced reader,so often its fall back on to the classics.

rhubbard Tue 01-Mar-16 13:14:52

Just come across this discussion. I work for Accelerated Reader so - what do you want to know?

mrz Tue 01-Mar-16 19:49:03

think they may have worked it out in the FIVE years since the thread ended

grubbyslippers Tue 01-Mar-16 19:54:32

It's very good, teaches them to read and retain/understand then they answer questions. So it's good for their future, GCSEs and so on. The target and book levels are tricky to start but that depends on how the school handles it.

Feenie Tue 01-Mar-16 20:08:27

Second time in two days that a brand new poster has upped a zombie thread about a commercial scheme!

mrz Wed 02-Mar-16 06:27:03

mrz Wed 02-Mar-16 06:29:37

gingerdad Wed 02-Mar-16 06:31:04

Pretty much destroyed my DDs love of reading. By being put on a very low level then getting very bored with books and quizzes.

mrz Wed 02-Mar-16 06:31:54

EngTeacherinScot Wed 02-Mar-16 07:54:33

We got this at the start of this session and it seems to be working well at our school.
The programme has changed a lot since a lot of the above referenced articles were written It is now web based and the tag line is if a book is published, we have a quiz for it. This isn't always true as I have sent several requests for titles to be added (a great service they provide) but they are slow ast responding/.

As regards to levels, we are often bemused by how titles are leveled, several books we have deemed for P7 only and are kept in that class for Literacy Circle work.

It has pos and cons as anything does, but not bad overall I think. You can get some interesting data about your class.

mrz Wed 02-Mar-16 18:00:26

Being web based is regarded as a flaw by some wink

PetraDelphiki Thu 21-Sep-17 07:41:18

Sorry to revive an old thread - we have just started this on earth is Game of Thrones a level 5.5 when first Harry Potter is a 6???? Fgs diary of a wimpy kid is 5.2????

irvineoneohone Thu 21-Sep-17 07:51:12

Maybe because it's not reliable?

PetraDelphiki Thu 21-Sep-17 08:10:26

Indeed!!! Although it's leading to a great game of find the book worth the most points in dd's reading band...she's going for gone with the wind at 77 points!!! Bizarrely she is also just in reach of war and peace level wise (118 points)...but I think that might be too much like hard work!

mamachick2017 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:21:04

I honestly have always hated the scheme my boy went from loving reading and bein read to, to be pigeon holed back and forth on levels. The kids get to a good level on the old system and AR came in and dropped most of them down as they didn't have the correct data.
Secondary school now confuses the hell out of me 1 min we'll be doing tests inside school next no he has to do at home, levels aren't explained only books at home are his brothers and 1s that are to long for his attention span. LY lower years & MY middle years - should have clicked but means I'm gonna have to buy a load of new books as don't have chance to take him library. It's frustrating. Kids wouldn't be on accelerated reading if they didn't have issues and shouldn't be on it if they are terrific readers, I admit my son has some issues reading, but others worse off. Let them read what they want put comprehensive tests in, speech patterns, about the language used. It wouldn't matter what there reading

mamachick2017 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:21:26

Sorry 4 the rant

glitterlips1 Mon 16-Oct-17 19:08:22

I agree with mamachick2017 . My son is starting to get frustrated and losing motivation with it. He is an avid reader and will read every night, he went from being a free reader to his levels going backwards and forth and being forced to read really easy books. Teachers don't listen to the children 1:1 anymore and I am not sure they even really look at the quizzes the children are doing. My son has to read 5 times a week with a parent signature each time. Today he was kept in during play because I had forgotten (due to being extremely busy working late night) to sign the book a 5th time even though he had read 200 pages of a book! For me the scheme is doing the opposite of what it is trying to achieve. Reading should be an enjoyable experience and this is taking the fun out of reading.

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