Welcome to the Accelerated Reader support page!
To enter the AR teacher log in page from home or any computer, CLICK HERE
This is a quick overview of how to implement the AR program with great success.
Access this shared Dropbox folder for many Elementary Accelerated Reader resources, including reading logs, response organizers, incentive tickets, and much more! CLICK HERE!
CLICK HERE to access a Middle School Accelerated Reader Resource folder.
The "Ten Commandments" of AR Implementation
I. Using data to drive the program. . . Universal Screening is your race car
The STAR Reading assessment should be used to screen EVERY student three times a year -- within the first few weeks of school, at mid-year, and in May (this is called Universal Screening). For identified Tier II students, screening should be done at least every 4 - 6 weeks; for Tier III students, screening should be done a minimum of every 3 - 4 weeks to track progress and growth trends (this is called Progress Monitoring).
The Universal Screen is ONE piece of data, and although it is a valuable piece, we should also continue collecting data to get a big picture of every student. Teachers use Eduphoria to review prior year STAAR data for each student and see how that compares to the Universal Screen results. Additionally, most Reading teachers find that administering a vocabulary inventory makes the data picture even clearer. Other data pieces may include giving fluency assessments and monitoring them using an Ipad app, cloze assessments, phonics and decoding assessments, etc.
II. I have data. . . now what do I do with it?
We use the collected data to quickly identify students we need to target for mandatory tutorials, audio book usage, small group interventions, or an extra reading intervention class.
To implement the AR program, teachers are able to use the Universal Screen STAR 360 data to set reasonable AR Point Goals for each student. The program does this for you!
Simply input the number of minutes you are requiring them to read each day, and AR will set the appropriate point goals for each student based upon THEIR particular ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which is the book level range at which they can successfully read on their own without frustration (too difficult) or boredom (too easy). An attachment at the bottom of this website will show you the reports procedures step-by-step.
III. Ownership and negotiation. . . giving the student some power in the process
A very important part of the AR process is to have individual goal-setting conferences with each student at the beginning of each grading period.
Teachers will prepare by printing the suggested AR Point Goals from the program and having blank Goal Cards ready. As the students work on independent activities, the teacher is able to call them up one at a time to discuss the suggested AR Point Goal based on their screening results. The student is allowed to "negotiate" and select a goal that he/she can attain by the end of the grading period. Some students will choose goals that are higher than the suggested one; others will try to negotiate way down, and the teacher must know his or her students in order to guide this goal-setting process succesfully.
These personal conferences are important to the process, and we rely on the professional judgment of our teachers to help guide the student to understanding the importance of regular reading practice in order to reach reading goals.
IV. Library Day. . . planting the seed to grow strong readers
Student goals have been set, and now it's time to find great books to read! On library day, the teacher will bring the folder containing that class period's Reading Logs for the grading period; each log will have the student's name, his/her Point Goal, and his/her ZPD range. As students are allowed to self-select books, they will use the log as a guide to remember their ZPD and select books that fit into that range. The teacher will also have a fresh supply of summarization bookmarks or other response actvities that the student will receive once the book has been approved by the teacher and checked out. Which brings us to. . .
V. Comprehension is critical. . . . summarization tools help to build mental pictures
Particularly for emerging or struggling readers, it is necessary to guide them to respond to the reading for the day upon completion. All students are allowed to use a summarization tool or graphic organizer to support comprehension, and struggling readers are typically required to do this as part of their grade. We use a wide variety of tools, mostly in the form of bookmarks that can be kept in the book and added to after each reading session. For some of our Tier III students or those with unique reading challenges, we allow them to use their completed summarization bookmark while testing to help prompt them to access their recall of story events.
VI. SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) time. . . putting the practice of reading into effect
Structured SSR time is what makes the difference between a mediocre program and a great one. It is MUCH more than simply reading silently!! For example, on a middle school campus Tuesdays and Thursdays are SSR days. The students have been taught to bring their books and be ready to discuss what they have read up to that point. The teacher will start with a focus activity then check over each student's Reading Log to see progression and review what is being read currently. During SSR time (which may occur a minimum of twice a week, 15 - 25 minutes each time, and perhaps three times a week for classes where students are reading two or more years below grade level), teachers can easily identify which students are making progress in their books and which ones are not and can then call them up to discuss it one-on-one. This is critical as we do not want a reluctant learner to have weeks of accomplishing nothing before it is addressed.
The student's Reading Log is present on the desk and their summarization tool is nearby so they can add to it at key moments while reading. Students signal the teacher when they are finished with the book and need to test. The teacher is able to monitor the reading, quietly discuss progress, and facilitate testing as needed during this time.
This is where it is so important that students are reading in books that are right for them.The STAR Reading screen will guide you with this, so as a teacher, you can be the facilitator to ensure your students are reading material where they can experience success. When you see that a student has failed an AR test, you must immediately intervene and see why.
This is where one-on-one conferencing time is so important. Have the child read a few pages of his book aloud to you, ask him to verbally summarize what he just read -- you will quickly see if there are red flags and the book needs to be a lower level if his lack of decoding skills is preventing comprehension from happening.
VII. Parental Involvement Gets Us to Our Goals
It is very important to try and garner parental support for the AR program.
Here are a few things that campuses and teachers can do to help engage parents to support the reading goals we have for their child:
- Decide on campus expectations and promote them heavily. Some elementary campuses have a standard of 15 min. of at-home reading every night. On some middle school campuses, they publish a brief expectation describing their standard of every student reading outside of class for at least 100 minutes per week (about 25 min. for four evenings each and every week). If students accomplish this, they will definitely finish their books by the due date. The procedure is also taught to students that they should have their AR book with them at all times. It is to be brought to each class. This way, if a student completes work and has five minutes left, they quickly learn to take out their AR book and read until the end of the period. EVERY "free" moment can be spent reading in their book; therefore, it needs to be with them at all times.
- Plan and publish AR due dates. The Reading dept. meets prior to the school year and reviews the school calendar. Due dates for Point Goals are selected for each grading period. Typically, we select the last Wed. of the grading period as the due date for all Point Goals to be completed. That way, an absent student or a struggling one still has a "cushion" of a day or two in which he/she can test and have it count for the grading period. The due dates are distributed at Goals Night, through the district parent notification system on that campus, in the parking lot, you name it! Posters of the due dates are placed prominently around the school.
- Promote Home Connect! Click on the Home Connect button on your opening teacher Renaissance Learning page (go to net/ar on a school computer). It will generate personalized letters for each of your students to send home to parents. The letters describe the program briefly and give the student's log in information as well. Parents can then go to Home Connect and sign up for email alerts. Every time their child tests, they will get an email showing what they made on their quiz. This saves a TON of time for teachers who would otherwise need to answer parent emails and calls wondering if their child has tested or not.
VIII. Charting progress promotes further growth. . .
Students like to know where they stand with their progress and as it compares to others in the class. Some of our teachers like to use chart posters with the name of every child in that class printed on them. As students earn points, the teacher adds stickers to the chart showing the progression throughout the year. This is a tangible way of letting students see on-going progress and avoids many questions such as "How many points have I earned so far?" Teachers typically select Thursday afternoons to update Progress Charts with stickers and may select to offer a small prize on Fridays to those who reached highlighted columns on the chart. This additionally promotes competition among peers, which is a powerful thing. Students will often challenge each other to reach certain goals and "race" to see who will get their first with their points.
IX. Recognition encourages further investment. . .
Incentives can be an important part of a successful AR program, and they don't have to cost anything at all. For secondary campuses, some offer a "Free Dress Day" to those students who reach a certain Point Goal each grading period. Students of all ages love to see their picture posted, and a "Wall of Fame" can be maintained each grading period promoting those who earned the most points and showed the most improvement in reading levels each grading period. Small tokens such as stickers, pencils, and small snacks can be given when Progress Charts updates are presented each Friday as students reach a highlighted column or stated goal.
X. It's not over when the book is finished . . .
Completing a book and successfully passing the quiz over it with an 85% or better score is an important goal. However, the experience with the book(s) can be extended in many ways. At the end of the grading period, students should complete an AR Reflection that lets them look at their progress and think about how they could have improved in key areas. They are encouraged to do "Book Talks" as projects at the end of a grading period to help promote favorite books to others. At the end of each semester, they can create Book Summary Projects wherein the student selects a favorite book, summarizes it to promote to others, creates a book jacket for it, and displays it in the hall or library. Reading records are printed for each student at the end of each grading period so they can analyze their data and see what they need to do to begin being successful on books that are at the top of their ZPD range.
Continual improvement is an on-going focus. As students experience success in their ZPD range as evidenced by quizzes being passed at 85% or better, the teacher encourages them to move slightly up to the higher end of their ZPD and beyond.
Regular Progress Monitoring with the Universal Screen will show student reading level progression and will automatically assign a slightly higher ZPD range to the student after improvement is shown on the screening.
Small steps equal to big gains at the end of the year!
Consistency and integrity of the program are the keys to success!
One a school computer, any teacher or student can easily get to the Accelerated Reader sign in page by going to net/ar
Parents, students, and teachers can check to see if a book has an AR quiz, as well as other helpful information such as how many points it is worth, the BL (Book Level), and a brief book summary by going to www.arbookfind.com This can be done at home, on the phone, etc.
Here are some ideas for AR implementation:
A Parent's Guide to Accelerated Reader
Kindergarten class where each student read 1,000,000 words!
Need bilingual resources? Here is a great blog from Humble ISD with many resources -- click HERE
Here are a variety of reading response organizers in both English and Spanish - click HERE