Finding the best way to instill a love of books in children, is a challenge that many parents and teachers face. A student needs to become a fluent and independent reader. For over three decades, the Accelerated Reading program has been inciting youngsters to experience the joy of the written word, and giving adults a way to understand how to help them on that journey.
The program was developed in 1984, by a mom who was looking for a way to get her children excited to read with improved proficiency. Her method involved giving them short quizzes after each book, to test their comprehension. By doing so, she also found out the areas in which each child needed additional assistance, allowing her to focus on that skill set, which greatly benefited the young reader.
The basic concept is for children to choose books that are on their level of competency, and read them independently. Upon completion, they take a short, computerized quiz of up to 10 questions that will test how well they comprehended the information that they read. The results are compiled into a report that the adult can utilize to see in which areas a particular student is struggling.
There are more than 180,000 quizzes currently available through this program and more are being added regularly. The titles included in the collection range in levels of difficulty to accommodate children in grades kindergarten through High School, are both fiction and nonfiction, covering a vast array genres and subject matter. There are tests that go along with certain textbooks and publications like magazines, as well.
Determining a child’s reading level starts with a computerized test that last about 10 minutes, and assesses their skills interactively. Depending on how they respond to each question, the difficulty level will adjust automatically to determine the point at which their comprehension and fluidity are optimal, the zone of proximal development (ZPD). Periodic reassessment can determine whether the student is improving.
Books on the program’s recommendation list tend to be those which teachers or parents have requested, award winners, trending series, popular authors, those that have been reviewed favorably by leading publications, and especially those commonly carried the most school libraries. The rankings are based on the difficulty level, and number of words found in each book. Titles not currently included in AR can be ranked using a conversion scale.
While the program itself does not offer any particular incentives, many teachers, libraries, and parents, have developed their own systems of rewards. Studies show that when children work toward a goal, they tend to be excited about the task and perform it more diligently. Through this, they practice their skills, honing them as they go, to become more proficient readers while learning to enjoy certain genres or subjects, and choosing to read on their own just for pleasure.
Getting kids excited about improving how well they read is easy when using the AR program. Through the assessment reports, one can see which areas of comprehension the child requires additional attention and instruction. The point system encourages them to work towards a goal, whether it be for their own ambition, or to reach an incentive, while gaining valuable skills and a love of acquiring knowledge or taking adventures through printed words.
If you are interested in accelerated reading, the best thing to do is visit the Web and enter the keywords in a search engine. Alternatively, you may go directly to this website at http://www.speedreadingworld.com.
Author: Marie HamiltonThis author has published 2 articles so far.