Adding Your Own Skills Practice Assignments

At times, you may want to add your own skills practice assignment for Accelerated Reader 360 Instructional or Assigned Reading. To do this, follow the steps below. Note that your assignment will be available to everyone in your district about 5-10 minutes after you create it.

Use a computer to create assignments instead of a tablet.

Who can do this with standard user permissions?

District level administrators, district staff, school administrators, school staff, teachers

  1. On the Home page, select Manage Content.
  2. If you have already opened Accelerated Reader 360 Assigned Reading, you can also select Add Content in the top right corner of the page.

  3. On the Manage Content page, select Create an Article Assignment.
  4. On the next page, you can find an article that you want to create an assignment for, or you can import your own article.
  5. If you want to import an article, see Importing an Article for instructions.

    If you want to use one of the articles that is already in the collection, notice that the page lists the articles that are available. There are a few ways to narrow the results:

    • Enter a term in the search field and press enter or click the magnifying glass to look for articles with a specific word:
    • Check grades to narrow your results to articles intended for specific grade levels. The list of available articles will update as you make selections. If none of the grades are checked, the articles for all grades will be shown.
    • To narrow the list by ATOS level, start by selecting ATOS BL. Then, select and drag each end of the ATOS range to choose which levels to include. The list of available articles will update as you change the range.
    • To narrow the list by Lexile® Measure, start by selecting Lexile® Measure. Then, select and drag each end of the range to choose which levels to include. The list of available articles will update as you change the range.
    • If you are looking for an imported article, and the Lexile® Measure was not entered for that article, you will not find it when you narrow the list by Lexile® Measure.

    For each article, you will see the title, a brief description, the intended grade level, the ATOS book level, and the Lexile® Measure.

    When you have found the article that you want to use for your assignment, select Choose > to go on to the next step in creating the assignment.

  6. On the next page, you can enter information about the skills practice assignment that you are creating.
  7. The article title and description are already filled in based on the article you chose. Now, fill in a title for the assignment that you are creating. The title could reflect the related skill or what you want students to do; it is shown in search results.

  8. Next, click Select in the Grade field to choose the grades for the assignment. In the window that opens, check the grades; then, select Done. The grade level(s) that you have selected are shown; if you made a mistake, you can remove a grade by clicking the X to the right of the grade, or you can simply choose Select again to choose different grades.
  9. Now, select the skill related to this assignment. You must select at least one skill. To start, click Select in the Skill field. In the window that opens, use the columns to select the grade(s), domain families, domain(s), standard(s), and skill(s). Notice that at the top of each column, you can choose whether to check all items in the column or to select (check) the ones that you want. After you have selected the grade(s), domain family, domain(s), and standard(s), be sure to scroll to the right to select the skill(s). When you've finished, select Done.
  10. If you need to change the selected skill(s) or to add other skills, choose Select again and check and uncheck skills as needed.

  11. Use the Region drop-down list to choose where the assignment is for: the United States, Canada, Spanish International, or the United Kingdom.
  12. When you have finished entering the assignment details, select Continue > at the top of the page. (If you need to choose a different article, you can select Cancel and start over.)
  13. Next, you will download and fill in a Microsoft Word template to create skills practice assignment. First, select Create Skills Practice Items.
  14. In the Import Skills Practice window, select Download Skills Practice Template under "Step 1".
  15. The options that you see when you click the Download link depend on your browser and operating system. On Windows computers, in many cases the file can be seen at the bottom of the browser window as it is downloaded, and you can click the file name there to open it; if not, the file is put in the Downloads folder (or opened in Microsoft Word if you have chosen to do that). On Macintosh computers, the file is either placed on the Desktop or in the Downloads folder; the browser may give you the option to open it.

  16. Open the file. Make sure that you are using a version of Microsoft Word that supports .docx format. You may need to select Enable Editing at the top of the window to begin working in the file.
  17. Microsoft Word 2007 or above is required to create skills practice assignments. Note that Microsoft Word Online is not compatible.

  18. If you have not created a skills practice assignment before with the template, read the information at the beginning of the file.
  19. You can add instructions for the beginning of the skills practice assignment by entering them in the field. (Instructions are not required, so you can leave them blank.) This can help give your students a better understanding of the focus or purpose of the assignment and what they should be looking for as they read the article.
  20. Now, you can add the items that you want on your skills practice assignment. For each item, you must first check the type of item that you want to add and then fill in the information. You can only check one type of item for each item number. A typical assignment might include one or more Highlight and Tag items and then Show You Know Questions. For some assignments, you may also want to include a link to a web page or video.
    • Highlight and Tag items ask students to highlight text and then choose the appropriate tag for that text. For example, you may want your students to find examples of cause and effect and to tag text "cause" or "effect" in those examples. If you check this type of item, first, enter instructions to tell your students what type of text to find and tag . Then, enter the name of the tag that you want students to see when they have selected text in the article (such as Main Idea or Cause or Effect) . Finally, enter the exemplar response , which teachers will see during scoring to help them evaluate the students' responses. For this type of item, the exemplar response would include the text in the article that you would expect the student to highlight and tag.
    • Show You Know: Enter a question that you would like to ask the student that shows that the student understands the related skill. If you have included Highlight and Tag items, the question might ask students why they chose the text they did, or how it meets the criteria for the tag. You can also enter an exemplar response that teachers will see while scoring students' answers to this question.
    • Web or Video Link: In this type of item, you enter a link to a web page or a video that you want the student to watch. Enter instructions; then, enter the URL or address of the link. This type of item is not scorable.

    You can enter up to six items. For each item, make sure that only one type is checked and filled in to avoid problems when you upload the file.

  21. When you are done, save the Microsoft Word file, using a name that will make it easy to find the file.
  22. There are two ways to upload your quiz file:
    • You can drag the file from the folder on your computer into the dashed box in the Import Skills Practice window.
    • You can select click to browse your computer and select the file.

    After you upload the file, you can select Delete if you need to delete the file and upload a different one. You can only upload one file per skills practice assignment.

  23. Select Import Skills Practice at the bottom of the window.
  24. The skills practice assignment file will be uploaded. When the process is done, you will see a message to tell you that the assignment was created successfully. Select OK to close the message and the window. A message under the "Add Skills Practice" heading will tell you that skills practice items have been imported.
  25. When you select Import Skills Practice, you may see one of these errors:

    • At least one question must be entered in the template. This means that you have not filled in all of the required fields for at least one item.
    • There is at least one incomplete item in the template. You have not filled in some of the required information for one of the items.
    • Only one item type checkbox per item may be checked. For each item, you must check just one of the item types (Highlight and Tag, Show You Know, or Web or Video Link). When you see this message, one of the items has two boxes checked.
    • An unsupported character was found. Check the file for unusual or unintended characters; then, save it and upload it again.

    If you see one of these errors, make changes to the file and upload it again.

  26. Select Continue > at the top of the page.
  27. On the Add Quiz page, you can add a quiz to the assignment if the article that you selected is part of the collection provided by Renaissance. Select Add Quiz if you want to add the quiz.
  28. If you imported your own article, a quiz is not available.

    Select Continue > to go on.

  29. On the next page, make sure the information shown about the assignment is correct. You cannot make changes after you publish the assignment. If you need to make changes, select < Back to go back.
  30. If you no longer need to make changes to the assignment and you are ready to publish it, select Publish Assignment.

    A message will tell you that the assignment is being imported. Select OK. You will go back to the Add Content page.

    Your assignment will be available to you and others the district in about 5 to 10 minutes. In Accelerated Reader 360 Instructional/Assigned Reading, you can find your new assignment (and imported articles) when you choose Find Articles by Skills or Standards or Find Articles by Topic and Keyword.

    As you find and assign article assignments, the fastest way to find only the assignments you created is to select the My Content tab on the Select Skills page; then, select Continue. Note that the My Content tab does not find assignments created by other users, but you can find those assignments by skill or topic.