Getting Started with Accelerated Reader

There are five steps to getting started with Accelerated Reader:

  1. Get your classroom ready for reading practice
  2. Introduce Accelerated Reader to students
  3. Determine your students' reading levels
  4. Personalize reading practice for each student
  5. Use data to monitor progress and celebrate success

1. Get Yourself and Your Classroom Ready for Reading Practice

To start, learn more about Accelerated Reader and how to encourage reading practice in your school and classroom.

Explore the Quizzes

Reading Practice Quizzes are available for over 200,000 books. Here's how to find out what they are:

  • Go to AR Bookfinder to find out which books have quizzes. You can search for titles, authors, or books that meet specific criteria, such as books in Spanish. Students and parents can use the site too - no login is required.
  • As a teacher or administrator logged in to Renaissance, follow these steps:

    1. On the Home page, select Manage Content.
    2. Select Manage Books & Quizzes.
    3. At the top of the page, choose viewing Reading Practice Quizzes. If necessary, choose the school.
    4. Browse through the list, use the search to find specific titles or authors, or use the filters to find specific types of books. Then, find a quiz you'd like to try and select Take Sample Quiz. You can then take a quiz and see your results just as students do.

    For more information, see Viewing Reading Practice Quiz Information.

Find Your Classes and Students in the Software

Follow these steps if you are a teacher. Administrators can select Classes & Courses in step 2 and select a school to see the classes that have been set up for that school so far.

  1. If you are a teacher, on the Renaissance Home page, select your name in the top right corner; then, select Manage Apps & Users.
  2. Select Users.
  3. Check Include class enrollments.
  4. Select Search.
  5. You will see a list of your students and the classes they are in. Verify that all of your students are there and are in the correct classes. If you see a problem, notify your Renaissance administrator.
  6. Above the table and to the right, select Password Report. This opens a report that shows your students' user names and passwords. If necessary, use the drop-down list or choose which school and students to show and how to group them. Use the PDF link in the top right corner to print or save the report as needed.

Consider Labeling Books

Consider labeling the books in your classroom or school library. Labels can help students find books that help them to grow and to meet their goals. For more information and ideas, see Tips for Labeling Books.

Check/Set Preferences

On the Renaissance Home page, select Accelerated Reader Independent Reading, then Preferences. Preferences let you choose whether to use ATOS book levels or Lexile®* measures and whether to require a monitor password before or after quizzes. Find out more about these and other Accelerated Reader preferences.

Explore the Resources

Explore the Accelerated Reader Resources.

Plan How to Use Accelerated Reader in Your Classroom

Schedule time for reading practice in your classroom routines, and determine how students will access books and take quizzes. For ideas and examples, see Accelerated Reader Smart Start. For a brief explanation, see our Literacy Minutes video: How do I integrate Accelerated Reader into my classroom?.

2. Introduce Accelerated Reader to Your Students

Help students understand why practicing reading is important and how to find good-fit books.

Learn More from Smart Start

See step 1 in the Smart Start resources to learn more before talking to your students.

Use the Student Videos

Use the student videos to show students how to find books, take quizzes, and see their progress.

Share Information with Parents

The Parent's guide to Accelerated Reader gives parents an introduction to Accelerated Reader and how it works for their children.

Parents can also sign up to get email updates when their children take quizzes. Tell them where to look for the Get Email Updates link on their child's Renaissance Home page.

3. Determine Your Students' Reading Levels

This can help you determine which book levels will provide the best growth opportunities for your students during reading practice. It also helps you set personalized reading goals tailored to each student's needs.

With Star Reading

If you have Star Reading, have your students take Star Reading tests (see the Star Reading Test Administration Manual). Spanish-speaking students can also take the Star Reading Spanish assessment. After your students test, in Accelerated Reader, you can see each student's English Zone of Proximal Development, which is a range of books that are neither to easy nor too hard, providing students with the best opportunity for growth. You'll also see goal recommendations based on student's test scores.

With Other Assessments

If you do not have Star Reading, but you do have other assessments that provide students' reading levels or grade equivalent scores, become familiar with students' assessment results before you set goals for students.

4. Personalize Reading Practice for Each Student

Set individualized goals for students to guide the quantity, quality, and complexity of their reading practice.

Choose the Goal Model and Set Goals

The first time you go to the Record Book's Student Goals tab for a class, you choose the goal model to use; you can also use the Reading Goals Model preference to choose the goal model to use for each class. Three models are available:

  • Early Reader Goals (recommended for grades K-2): Students earn a token for each passed quiz, and they use those tokens to earn character badges. Goals encourage students to read several books worth 0.5, 1, or 2 points. To set these goals, see Setting K-2 Goals.
  • Grade 3-5 goals: In this model, you set goals for the points students earn by passing quizzes, their average percent correct on those quizzes (comprehension), and either the average book level of the books that students quiz on or the amount of reading students do within their reading range. For the points goal, students see a rocket heading toward a planet; the rocket reaches the planet when they meet the goal, and the page celebrates with fireworks. Gauges show student progress toward average percent correct and average book level goals, while a message tells the student how they are doing on reading range goals. To set these goals, see AR Student Goals for Grades 3-5 or 6+.
  • Grade 6+ goals: This model is like the model for grades 3-5, but the points goal is shown on a progress line for older students.

See Accelerated Reader Goal Frameworks for more about how to use the goals.

Talk to Students About Their Goals

Talk to each student to explain their goals and how the goals will help them grow.

5. Use Data to Monitor Progress and Celebrate Success

You and your students monitor their progress toward goals and the reading they are doing.

How Students See Their Progress

See How Students View Progress.

Teachers View Progress in the Record Book

In the Accelerated Reader Record Book, you can see students' progress toward goals and the quizzes they've taken.

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