Parent’s Guide to AR: Accelerated Readers Program

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Accelerated Reader (AR) is back at Peabody by popular demand! AR is an online reading improvement initiative requested by Peabody faculty and funded by the Peabody PTA. Your child can read a book, take a quiz on the book to assess comprehension, and earn points toward prizes and recognition! And you, as a parent, can keep track of how well they’re doing in AR through the Home Connect website — instructions on how to do that will be coming home soon.
 
This is a parent’s guide so you can help your child truly become an Accelerated Reader!
 
ASSESSMENT
Your child will receive an initial grade level assessment at school, conducted by our librarian, Mr. Malone. This will help you and your child’s teacher know what level books are appropriate for your child to be reading. Keep in mind that many children will read either above or below their actual grade level and the best way to help these students progress is to give them books that are on their level but are still interesting to the student. The reading lists at the end can provide ideas.

COMPREHENSION

Throughout the school year, your child will take comprehension quizzes about AR-approved books. Quizzes for shorter books generally have five multiple-choice questions, while longer books have more. These quizzes can only be taken between 7:15-3:00pm at the school. Your child cannot do these tests at home. AR BOOKS

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BOOKS
Any book that has an AR quiz associated with it counts (and there are LOTS — both fiction and non-fiction). You can visit the AR BookFinder™ at www.arbookfind.com to conduct a search of all available books with AR quizzes. Your child can get AR books from home, the Peabody Elementary library, the public library or even his classroom. They can even take quizzes on books they read over the summer, as long as they think they can remember enough to answer the questions on the quiz. Books from the Peabody library will be labeled with information about the reading level, point value of the book and quiz #, and this info can be looked up on the AR BookFinder™ for all other books.

POINTS
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a point value. AR points are computed based on the difficulty of the book and the length of the book. For example, the Berenstain Bears books, which are about 1,000 words long and have an average level of 3.5, are 0.5-point books. Hank the Cowdog, which is about 23,000 words long and has a book level of 4.5, is a 3-point book. Children earn points, or a portion of a book’s points, depending on how well they do on the Reading Practice Quiz. If the point value is not labeled on a book, you can look it up on the AR BookFinder™.

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PRIZES!

Ultimately, we want kids to see reading as its own reward, but let’s face it — a little incentive never hurt anyone, so Peabody is enhancing the prize system this year to encourage more students to participate. And who knows, in the process of trying to win a prize, your child might just discover a passion for reading that will last a lifetime!

AR Store – Each week, students will be allowed to visit the AR store to purchase prizes with their AR points. They can spend a few points on a small prize or save up for something bigger! (If you are interested in volunteering to help Mr. Malone run the AR store, please contact him at maloneda@mcsk12.net.)

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Thanks Mr. Malone, Peabody Elementary Librarian
Prizes for Points Leaders – At the end of each semester, the Peabody PTA will present a $25 gift card to the student who earned the most points in each grade level that semester. At the end of the year, trophies will be awarded to the top three point-getters in the entire school.

Prize Drawings – Because we want all AR participants to have a shot at winning prizes, we will have prize drawings throughout the year, and all participants who have reached a certain level of points will be eligible. Watch for announcements of when these drawings will be held and how many points your child will need to be eligible to win!


The BIG Prize! – At the end of the year, we will conduct a final prize drawing for a $100 gift card. For every 10 points your child has accumulated by May 10th, his or her name will be entered in the drawing one time. (Example: A student with 35 points would get 3 entries.) The more points they earn, the better their chances, so read early and often for the best shot at the big prize!

You can check your child’s progress online via “Home Connect” (login info will be sent home soon). Mr. Malone also updates the AR bulletin board outside the library each month. Students with the most AR points at each grade level are also honored each month with a picture on a nearby bulletin board.

HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD SUCCEED?
Your main job is just to make sure your child is reading (and then ask them if they’re taking tests)! Students go to the Peabody library weekly and should bring their book home if they don’t read it at school. But they don’t have to limit their reading or test-taking to books that come from the Peabody library — you can help them find books at home or at the public library to read. Or, you can encourage them to check out their classroom library — most teachers have a good selection of books that kids can borrow. As long as the book shows up in the AR BookFinder, it counts!  If your child reads a book that’s not labeled with the AR codes, you can just send him with the correct AR# as listed on the website or send the correct book title and the child can look up the quiz by title at school.

Your child can even take tests on books you read together, whether they read aloud to you or vice versa. Even older children benefit greatly from being read to — it often allows them to be exposed to literature that is beyond their ability to read on their own. So, read with your child at home and then let him take the test on his own at school — you’ll be amazed at how well your child was listening to you (for once!).

TIPS FOR IMPROVED READING COMPREHENSION
When reading to your child, use character voices, talk about pictures, and try not to read too quickly. She will be tested for comprehension in the AR program, so all of these practices help with comprehension.

If your child is reading independently, you may want to ask a few questions about the book to see if your child read for understanding….or just zipped through it!!

ADDITIONAL READING RESOURCES
7 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers
Management Strategies for Reading (for struggling readers)
How Do I Help a Struggling Reader?
Read-Aloud and Read-Alone Grade Level Reading Lists (book recommendations)
Favorite Series Books
Summer Reading Lists (by grade level)

Go Peabody Eagles!  Accelerate your reading!

 

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