St. Bernard’s School implemented the Accelerated Reader program in Fall 2005. This reading incentive program is designed to promote extracurricular reading habits among students in first through eighth grades. Students read books from the Accelerated Reader book list and then take quizzes via computers in our library to check their reading comprehension. The short multiple-choice quizzes are carefully designed to verify that the students have read and understand the books. The program allows students to take a quiz only one time, so students must read each book carefully before taking a quiz.
Students choose books from a specific list of titles that correspond to the list of quizzes installed on our server. We currently have over 1000 quizzes and we will continue to purchase more each year.
Three times a year, we administer the STAR Reading Test through the same online program we use for Accelerated Reader quizzes to help determine which books students should target. At the fall parent-teacher conference, parents receive a report of this test, which includes a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development). The ZPD gives a range of readability levels from which a student should select books. This readability level should not be confused with “reading level” or “grade level.” Simply put, it is the reading level for an individual student that promotes optimal growth for him/her.
Accelerated Reader books in St. Bernard’s library have the following colored dots on the spine that indicate the readability level of the book:
Students are recognized for reaching specific levels of achievement in the Accelerated Reader program at Monday morning assemblies. This recognition is based on points that students earn from successfully completing the comprehension quizzes. Points are determined by the number of words in the book and the percentage of questions answered correctly on the quiz. Students' points continue to accumulate from year to year while attending St. Bernard’s. As students reach certain point levels, they are recognized as members of Accelerated Reader Point Clubs. Incentives for Points Clubs range from new bookmarks and books to ice cream and pizza parties.