AR Tips
Accelerated Reading Tips
Tips For Parents of First Grade Children


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Accelerated Reading (AR) is a computerized program that helps your child become a better reader. Children are given time to practice reading in class and at home, reading on their own level, and then given time to take tests on the computer. This program is based on the principle that practicing reading will make their reading skills grow. Here are some ways you can help your child become successful with reading and with AR:
1. Read Daily
*Read to your child. Research shows that when parents quit reading to their child the child's fluency level lowers. Reading to your child models fluency.
*Read with your child. Cuddle up and enjoy reading time! The child reads some words/pages and adult reads some words/pages.
* Listen to your child read a book within their reading level. Adult listens while the child reads. Parents support your child by not giving your child unknown words but rather by teaching/reviewing skills to "figure out" unknown words.
*Provide reading time. Provide a time that your child can read to his/herself quietly. Remember to start with short amounts of time (10 minutes) and build up to larger amounts of time.
*Model reading. Parents should read when their children can see them read. Children who see their parents reading value reading. Have a family reading time!
2. Book Talk
*Before you read. Take a picture walk. For early and emergent readers look at the pictures throughout the book before reading. Talk about what both child and adult see. Ask your child what they think the book is about - make a prediction. For good readers look at the cover, read the title, look at the illustration, and ask your child to make a prediction about the story.
*Talk while you read. While reading a book ask comprehension questions, ask prediction questions, tell what you think about a particular part, ask your child what they think, and relate the words of the story to the illustrations.
*Talk after you read. Ask your child to tell you the story with the book closed. If your child can not open the book and turn the pages while asking questions such as "What happens first?" "What happens next?" and story specific questions.
3. Accelerated Reader Testing Tips
*Take notice of the illustrations. AR tests will sometimes ask questions that can only be answered by the illustrations support of the words.
*For shorter books a child should read a book a minimum of 2 times and do a book talk before taking an AR test.
*For longer books, such as chapter books, don't wait until the book is done to talk. Talk while your child is reading. "Tell me what's going on in your book?"
*Read your child's books. Sounds simple, but many parents of chapter book readers skip this tip. Don't have time? Get the book out after your child goes to bed and read it! Then you will know what is going on in the story and be a really good question "asker".
*Your child can take an AR test as soon as they finish the book. It is recommended that a child take the test within 48 hours of finishing the book.
*Your first grade child can retake a failed test one time. Remember it will do no good to take the test again unless the book is reread and another book talk is done.
4. Reading Strategies for unfamiliar words:
*sound the word out
*look for clues in the picture
*break the word into little words or chunks
*skip the word and read the rest of the sentence - then go back and read the sentence