Accelerated Reader

MHCS-7What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader is a reading incentive program for our 1st-5th grade students that encourages them to read more and better quality books using a reading point system with goals and prizes to motivate. This fun program has been proven to boost student academic performance.

How does the program work?

    1. Students read a book from the Accelerated Reader list. Many of the titles have won major book awards. Please know that the AR list was compiled by a non-Christian organization. These books are widely used in secular schools; not every book is endorsed by our teachers.  Parental discretion should always be used in the selection of a child’s reading material.
    2. Using the classroom computer, the students take a multiple-choice comprehension test for the book they have read. All tests have either 5 or 10 questions. Students must score at least 60% on the test to earn credit.
    3. The individual teachers may set classroom goals for their students, such as minimum reading levels and monthly point goals. They may use this as part of the students’ grades.
    4. There are some restrictions. Most teachers will not accept points for re-testing on any books that a student already earned points for in a previous year. For upper elementary students, teachers will not accept points earned for reading “picture books” below a student’s grade level.

Where can I find the AR book list?

The list is available on classroom computers, or you can access the online book finder by clicking HERE. AR books are available in our school library as well as local public libraries and bookstores. It is likely that many of the books on your home bookshelf are AR books as well.

Who may participate?

MHCS students in grades 1-5 may participate, and most teachers require that students participate. In addition to taking quizzes on books that students read themselves, students may take AR quizzes on books that have been read to them.

How are the points determined?

The point value of a particular book is determined by words per sentence, characters per word, and average grade level of words. Newer quizzes also take into account book length and fiction vs. nonfiction. A child only gets the book’s full number of points if he or she scores 100% on the quiz. For example, if a student earns a score of 80% on a 1.0 point book he would earn 0.8 points. Most “picture” books are 0.5 points. The computer program keeps track of tests taken, points earned, the reading levels of the books, average reading level overall, average percentage scored. This information is used to determine prizes earned.

Are all Accelerated Reader books on the list recommended for my child?

Some books on the list are more appropriate for older elementary students because of their content—even though your child may be able to read them already. The Accelerated Reader book list should not be viewed as a recommendation or a review source. You are ultimately the person who decides whether a book is appropriate for your child.

How are the students motivated to read more?

Students will earn points for reading books and passing quizzes. These points will be used to obtain prizes. Four prize days will be held (one per quarter).

Hints for Parents:

    You may read books to your child. This is especially helpful for beginning readers or students transitioning to “chapter books”.
    Consider reviewing books with your child (or re-reading picture books) the night before testing. The program is not set up to allow students to retake failed tests.
    Make sure your student is reading books at an appropriate level-this will vary from student to student. Many students make the mistake of reading a book at a much higher reading level than their grade.