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The Accelerated Reader and Reading Renaissance Programs are an important part of our reading instruction. For those of you who are new to the program, this explanation should prove helpful.
During the first week of school every child in grades 3-5 take the iReady Assessment on the computers in our classrooms or computer lab. This assessment provides your child’s teacher with an individualized reading level (Zone of Proximal Development—ZPD). Your child’s teacher explains that reading zone to your child and assigns a range of book levels for your child to read. By providing each child with an individual reading level, our teachers can ensure that the material each child is reading is appropriately challenging without being too difficult or too easy.
When selecting one of Accelerated Reader books available at Ridgewood Elementary, your child is able to identify the books on his/her level by looking at the color on the spine label for each book, and by looking at the reading level listed on a label inside the front cover. For example, if your child needs a book in a reading range of 4.3-5.5, the first step is to find a book with a green or blue stripe and then check the AR label to make sure the book level is between 4.3 and 5.5 (4.3 equates to a reading level of fourth grade, third month).
After your child reads the Accelerated Reader book, he/she takes a computerized quiz containing between five and twenty questions. If your child passes the quiz, he/she will earn points based on the length and difficulty of the book. Each time a test is taken, your child will receive a TOPS report. This report tells the teacher and the parent how the child scored on the book. If the book is on an appropriately challenging level, the percent correct should be between 85 and 92. If your child is consistently scoring below 85, either the books are too difficult, or your child is not reading carefully enough. If your child is consistently scoring above 92, the books are too easy, and your child’s teacher will increase the reading range for your child.
In addition to assigning a reading level to your child based on the iReady Reading assessment, your child’s teacher assigns a point goal for Accelerated Reader based on the reading level of your child. Your child is expected to meet his/her point goal during the grading period with an average of 80% correct or higher. This reading includes reading independently, reading with small groups, partners, or the entire class, and being read to by the teacher or another adult. As a parent, you can help your child by providing at least 30 minutes of reading at home each night.
We would also like to stress the importance of reading for enjoyment. Your child may be interested in books well below or above their reading level and it is important to support that interest in order to create lifelong readers. We, at Ridgewood, make sure students are comprehending their reading through AR but we also want to cultivate authentic readers through reading for enjoyment, interest and information.