Parents Guide to AR

Have you heard your kids talk about their "AR level" or heard the teacher talk about AR quizzes in the weekly newsletters? Are you wondering what the heck they're talking about?

AR stands for Accelerated Reader, an internet-based reading program that many schools across the country use. Early in the school year, kids will take the Star Reader test, which will assess their reading ability and give them a reading level range that suits them and allows for challenge and growth within the program. When they visit the school library, the librarian guides them to books within their level. They read the books, and when finished they take a short quiz on the computer to test their comprehension of the story. If they pass the quiz with 60% or higher they acquire a percentage of the points the book is worth based on how well they did on the quiz (they get all of the points if the get 100%, and so on) If they don't pass, most schools allow them to retake it once. Throughout the year, kids will take the Star Reader test again to reassess their AR level. Some get a higher level, some stay around the same-which is fine since the program is designed to challenge them within their level.

AR interest levels break down like this:

LG-lower grade level (k-3rd grade)
MG-middle grade level (4th-8th grade)
MG+ middle grade plus level (6th-8th grade)
UP-upper grade level (9th-12th grade)

Within each interest level, there are book levels.
If your child's AR level is a 3.6 you have to also pay attention to the book level (LG or MG)
For example, a book can be LG 3.6 and another book can be MG 3.6 so both books are considered a 3.6, however one is suitable (based on content and complexity) for k-3rd graders-LG, and one is suitable for 4th-8th graders-MG.

Students and parents can utilize AR Book Find to find books in their level, or to check the level of a book.

Some books are not AR, but you'll find that most do have a level and quiz. If a book is newly published it may take a few months before it's in the AR system.

With the advanced search option you can also narrow your search results or look up a book by author if your title search came up empty.

Still have questions? Ask away! If you have a better understanding of how this program works, you can help your kids find great books that suit their individual reading abilities. Kids who try to read books higher than their level will have a hard time comprehending what they read, which leads to discouragement. Reading should be fun, let's help them see it that way.

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