What is Accelerated Reader?
Decades of data and research have revealed that effective reading practice needs to include deep engagement, active ownership of learning, and an appropriate level of challenge. Educators use Accelerated Reader to support this type of “perfect reading practice” and motivate your child to want to read more and discover a lifelong love of reading.
What is a ZPD and how is it used?
The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is a term borrowed from psychologist Lev Vygotsky. In Accelerated Reader, the ZPD is a range of books that will optimize your child’s reading growth by appropriately challenging him or her without causing frustration or loss of motivation.
A ZPD range is synonymous with a range of reading levels according to our readability formula, ATOS. Your child will receive a ZPD range after taking a Renaissance Star Reading test®, or teachers and librarians can use their best professional judgment to determine a range. It’s important for your child to read with a high degree of comprehension and within his or her ZPD range. ZPD ranges should be adjusted based on the needs of your child.
What books are included in Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader doesn’t include “books.” Renaissance creates Accelerated Reader quizzes for most fiction and nonfiction trade books as well as curated nonfiction articles.
We currently have almost 200,000 quizzes in our database (10,000 are in Spanish), and we add thousands more each year, for classic literature, award winners, long-time favorites, and many of today’s most popular titles.
Our quiz writers research the latest titles and write quizzes every week. Check out Renaissance Accelerated Reader Bookfinder® to see if we have a quiz for your child’s favorite book. If it’s not there, click the Suggest Quizzes link. We’ll be happy to add it to our list!
Why do many Accelerated Reader books with adult themes have low book levels?
ATOS book levels are reported using the ATOS readability formula and represent the difficulty of the text. For example, a book level of 4.5 means the text could likely be read independently by a student whose reading skills are at the level of a typical fourth grader during the fifth month of school.
Of course, the content may or may not be appropriate for a fourth grader, which is why we also use interest levels. Interest levels provide general guidelines for the maturity of the content; however, you are the best judge of what content is appropriate for your child.
- UG: Appropriate for upper grade students
- MG+: Appropriate for junior high students
- MG: Appropriate for middle-grade students
- LG: Appropriate for lower-grade students
Click here to learn more about book levels and text complexity measures.
Why does my child’s teacher promote Accelerated Reader and stress setting goals?
The intention of Accelerated Reader is to give you and your child’s teacher insight into your child’s reading practice habits.
When educators set goals based on an individual child’s needs, goal setting promotes “perfect reading practice.”
Accelerated Reader goals are typically set for the following:
- Average percent correct: The most important goal for all students is to average at least 85 percent on quizzes. This indicates a student is reading with a high level of comprehension, which accelerates reading growth. Averages of 90 percent are associated with even greater gains
- Points: Point goals indicate how much reading students are expected to do. Accelerated Reader provides point goals that are appropriate for each student’s reading ability, the amount of time that teachers schedule for daily reading practice, and the length of the marking period. In this way, point goals are individualized, fair, and realistic
- Average book level: The book-level goal helps ensure students read at a level appropriate for them as individuals. It represents a minimum level of difficulty. Goals are set at the low end of students’ ZPDs to encourage them to read freely throughout an appropriate range
Talk to your child’s teacher about Renaissance Home Connect® to see your child’s Accelerated Reader goals and track his or her progress toward achieving them.
My child says she hates reading. How can I help?
If your child doesn’t like reading, there could be many factors at play. Here are some ideas to try to encourage your child to have a new outlook on reading:
- Read with her. At any age, reading aloud can be fun and a good way to find topics and genres you have in common
- Model reading yourself and talk with your child about what you’re reading
- Begin with audiobooks and encourage your child to read along with them
- Encourage reading any material on any device. Make the most of e-reading apps, online articles, magazines, comics, or manga in addition to books. If your child is a gamer, suggest books on her favorite video games
- Take an interest in what interests your child and read about it. Share articles on her favorite sports teams or pull out a cookbook and explore recipes together
Reading becomes rewarding when you provide opportunities for your child to explore the things she likes or you enjoy an adventure together.
Explore the Advanced Search on Accelerated Reader BookFinder® to look for topics your child might be interested in.