Reading and Phonics
At Tiger Primary School the reading programme for Years 2 - 6 is called Accelerated Reader, it is an effective programme to motivate children with reading and promote good reading practice. Accelerated Read also provides staff with reports to enable them to ensure that the correct assistance is given to children with their reading.
What is Accelerated Reader?
AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished they take a short quiz on the computer, passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read. The absolute key here is the understanding; your child may be able to physically read the words of almost any book out loud but the quizzes test the understanding/comprehension of the chosen text. AR gives both children and teachers, feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to help the child set targets. Specific skills for decoding and comprehension will be taught by your child’s set teacher, but AR will help to ensure that the children’s independent reading practice is appropriate and effective.
Before choosing a reading book, the children must receive their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) to do this they must complete a Star Reading Test. The reading test is made up of 34 questions, as well as some practice questions.
What is a ZPD?
ZPD is the range of books that will challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation. It is important for children to read independently with a high degree of comprehension and within his/her ZPD. During the year, as your child progresses in their reading, we would expect this range to change to reflect the improvements that they are making.
What happens after taking a Start Reading Test?
After completing the Start Reading Test, the children are then given their ZPD e.g. 1.2 – 2.2 and can choose reading books within that range. They are able to start anywhere within the range. After finishing their reading books, the children must then take a quiz on the book which is made up of some questions and then they score the book out of four stars. The quiz enables staff to see if the children have understood what they have read and if they are able to recall facts about the book. The children are awarded points for quizzing on their reading book.
Can my child to read outside of their ZPD?
We would suggest that your children read books within his/her ZPD range because they may be able to read the words in a book but this does not that mean the content is appropriate. The given ZPD ranges reflect the level of comprehension and understanding shown by your children when taking a Star Reading Test. Some books have complicated vocabulary, but simple storylines; while others might have far simpler vocabulary, but more complex storylines. When choosing a book, it is essential that the children are interested in the book, will enjoy reading it and feel success in having finished it and understood it.
What are points?
Each AR book has a point value and by completing a Reading Practice Quizzes the children are rewarders with points. The point value is determined by the difficulty and length of the book / amount of words within the book. The point value is located inside the book cover on a sticker. Points are awarded with how well the children do whilst completing a quiz. For example, a child who takes a 5 question quiz on a book worth 1 point will earn 1 point for 5 correct answers (100%), 0.8 points for 4 correct answers (80%) and so on. Children who read a book worth 5 points and take a 10 question quiz will earn 5 points for 10 correct answers (100%) 4.5 points for 9 correct answers (90%), etc. A child needs to pass a quiz with a score of 60% or higher to earn any points.
How are Accelerated Reader points targets set and recorded?
Teacher are able to set a point target for children bases on how they have done in Term One and the target will be in place for Term Two. Each class has a quiz point chart in their room, which the children can add a sticker next to their name when they get their first 5 points. The chart moves up in increments of 5 up to 100 points. Children who achieve over 100 points will have their names added to the Accelerated Reader area in school as a way of celebrating their achievement school wide, this is not to say that those who do not achieve 100 will not be celebrated. Targets can also be set with the help of the children to give them practice takes place and guarantee progress
My child is not a strong reader. Can he/she use Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is designed to aid all children in becoming better readers, it is accessible for children with special needs to children who are gifted and talented. Reading books at their appropriate ZDP aids the children to succeed with their reading
How will I know if a quiz is available on AR?
Within Tiger, all of the books with an AR sticker inside the cover have quizzes available. You can also look on www.arbookfind.co.uk to find out the book level of a book to see if it is within your child’s ZPD range. If the book is the correct level then they may be able to access it from school, home or the local library. Once they have read the book they can complete the relevant quiz in school.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Your children will have an Accelerated Reader Book Log which they will bring home. The book log will show you the books your child has read and how long it has taken them. It will also show the book level and the quiz percentage achieved after taking a quiz.
At Tiger Primary School we believe that the teaching of high quality Phonics is vital in order for children to become competent readers and writers. We teach high quality integrated and discrete phonics lessons following the government recommended ‘Letters and Sounds’ document, alongside the ‘Jolly Phonics Programme’.
‘Letters and Sounds’ is designed to teach children how the alphabet works for reading, writing and spelling. ‘Letters and Sounds’ is designed as a time limited programme of phonics. It works on securing fluent word and sound recognition skills for reading and writing by the end of Key Stage One and as an intervention in Key Stage Two.
Teachers and Teaching Assistants use ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions, sounds and pictures to support children’s early understanding of single letter and diagraph phonemes and graphemes. Within Reception, teachers use ‘Cued Articulation’ when teaching Phonics. ‘Cued Articulation’ is a series of actions that represents the way a sound is formed in the mouth and throat; it supports children to correctly pronounce sounds. ‘Cued Articulation’ is used throughout the school to support children with Speech and Language difficulties and children with additional educational needs.