Whitewater Valley Elementary School

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Our Accelerated Reader (AR) program gives students access to over 100,000 quizzes. We no longer have to order quizzes individually and we do not have an updated printed list of AR titles in the school library or public library, because it would be too much to print off. In order to see what quizzes your child can take, please visit the Renaissance Learning website below. Just type in the title and search. You can also do an advanced search for specific AR levels and much more.

http://www.arbookfind.com/

What is Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader is a computerized reading management program. It is a unique system for motivating children to read and for tracking achievement. Students select and read books of their choice and take computerized tests when they finish reading. Books and tests available at Whitewater Valley Elementary range in reading level from emergent readers to eighth grade level. The program keeps track of all the tests taken and points earned for each participating student. The multiple-choice tests are made up of 5, 10, or 20 comprehension and recall questions. After completing the test, the student is shown how many questions were answered correctly. The program shows the answers for the questions missed and awards reading points to the student’s record.


Does research support using Accelerated Reader?

Accelerated Reader gives students instant information and reinforcement for their efforts. By basing reading points on three standards (quantity, quality, and reading level), Accelerated Reader challenges students to achieve and supports a literature-based reading program. Many studies confirm the program’s positive impact on reading scores. Appropriate, independent goals must be set for each student-- goals which will motivate them to reach their highest potential. It is up to Whitewater Elementary staff, students, and community to foster positive involvement in the program. The Accelerated Reader program is another opportunity for staff and parents to push the students to read beyond the classroom setting. The focus is on reading and celebrating!


How are student reading levels determined?

Student reading levels will be initially assessed and periodically updated using the STAR Reading program. This process will give teachers, students, and parents a good idea of the students’ reading level and Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD is a range of books levels. Students should try to choose books within their ZPD range, so that they are practicing reading with books that are "just right" for them, instead of those that are too easy or too challenging. Of course they may read books from outside their range for enjoyment, but most of their reading material should be within their range. (Nonfiction books should be selected .5 to 1.0 below their ZPD, because of difficulty with vocabulary, etc.) Students can find books on their level at the school or public library.


How will students at Whitewater Valley Elementary participate in the Accelerated Reader Program?

The AR program has been installed on computers in each classroom. Each student has been issued an account and has access to the appropriate level tests purchased by our school. Staff members have been given training, and students will be receiving ongoing training, help, and testing opportunities in the classroom. Each time a student takes a test, the results will be maintained in the classroom computer. Students and classroom teachers will be able to review the student’s progress at any time by accessing their account.


How can I help my child be successful with Accelerated Reader?

The most effective help you can give your child is your own example-- by modeling independent and shared reading-- and by discussing books and literature in your family. Consistent opportunities to read together each morning, afternoon, or evening will reap academic and emotional benefits. Provide positive reinforcement or praise for your child’s efforts with the AR program. A positive reaction or recognition of the AR books and awards which come home may encourage your child to try some more tests. Keep the focus on enjoyment of reading and understanding books, not on accumulation of points.


Does my child have access to books, computers, and tests for the AR program?

We have a new AR which allows us access to over 100,000 AR quizzes. The program is set so that a student may only take a test on a given book once. Whitewater Valley Elementary has adopted the Accelerated Reader program as a supplement to our current reading program. Students may also obtain AR book titles from Whitewater Valley Elementary library, classrooms, home, friends, neighbors, regional libraries, etc. If you or anyone you know wishes to donate books that are currently on our AR test list for this program, please talk with Ms. Hollstegge.


How much can I help my child with Accelerated Reader?

The purpose of the Accelerated Reader program at Whitewater Valley Elementary is to motivate kids to read, read, read! We want children to experience success and growth as readers. Our implementation plan provides for all students to participate without experiencing frustration. With younger students and beginning readers, we may share the reading or read aloud to the student. Questions may be read aloud to students if necessary. A student will select his/her own response to the question. Staff, parents, older reading buddies, and volunteers may be called upon to help children. Our goal is improved reading and understanding.


Is my child competing with others in this program?

Again, the focus of Accelerated Reader at Whitewater Valley Elementary is to motivate all of our students to read. Active participation and effort are the ultimate goals and assessment tools. Every child is being challenged to participate and to reach his or her highest potential. Teachers will set fair individual goals for each student. In some instances, AR achievement may be factored in to the students’ reading grades. Celebrations may occur based upon total school success and whole school participation. Your child should be encouraged to enjoy reading while attempting to make his/her goal, not to worry about competing with others. We want everyone to experience joy and success.