A Little Background
Our goal, like that of all reading instruction, is to develop lifelong learners who love to read. Reading is crucial to everything we do as active members of society. It helps us earn a living, participate in politics, understand science, care for our families, and stay healthy. Reading also fosters our personal growth. Books are windows that enable us to see into the hearts and minds of other human beings. As we read, we learn from their experiences and insights, and often we are entertained in the process.
Reading is a skill and like every skill, it requires practice. We learn to swim by swimming. We learn to drive by driving. Of course, instruction helps. If someone doesn't tell you that you have to turn a key to start your car, you won't get out of the driveway. On the other hand, once you learn the rudiments of driving, how well you drive depends on how much time you spend behind the wheel.
So it is with reading. The more you read, the better you become at reading.
The Main Idea
The Accelerated Reader is a reading program designed for students in grades one through twelve. Students make their book choices from a list of fine literature. Students read at their own pace and then take a computerized test featuring 5, 10, or 20 multiple-choice comprehension questions.
The test gives immediate feedback in the form of reading points. The program awards points based on length and difficulty of the book and on student comprehension. These points provide incentives and reinforcement to students.
Reading points also provide teachers with an accurate measurement of student performance. In addition, parents, teachers, and students can easily gauge progress. The Accelerated Reader program bases reading points on three standards: quality, quantity, and reading level.