Accelerated Reader Freebie and Set Up

Our school is required to use Accelerated Reader. In order to make this mandatory program fun, I decided to throw away reading logs, and use AR point goals instead.

I love giving students Accelerated Reader point goals because it encourages reading and holds students accountable by having them take the AR tests. Granted, I have to have mini-lessons on the importance of choosing books that are a good fit instead of books that are point heavy to reach your goal. I always make sure that student’s goals are attainable and that this doesn’t take the love out of reading for my voracious readers!

At our school, we have 30 minutes for a whole class computer lab session each week. During that time, students can take AR tests, we can pull small groups of students, or we can have students progress monitor on the STAR assessment program. This time is very valuable!

In the STAR Assessment program, you can align students’ reading level with a specific Accelerated Reader test goal, which is awesome. For example, a student who reads 20 minutes a night, at a 5.2 (5th grade, 2nd month) reading level may have a goal of 11 points in a grading period.

Here is the chart I grabbed off STAR that I use: (ZPD= zone of proximal development, which is basically saying this is how low and high the student can read independently).

Accelerated Reader Freebie and Set Up - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

Isn’t this chart awesome?! So each student sets their individual goal for the marking period, and we track goals at our data center and in students’ individual Student Data Tracking Binders.

Here is an example of how I might sit down with a student to choose their AR point goals:

Accelerated Reader Freebie and Set Up - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

It is up to the teacher to choose, tweak, and change the goal. Depending on the student, I may not just grab this point goal off of the list. I may change it. For example, you can see I went with 45 minutes of at home reading for this student above, even though my students are only required to read for 20 minutes every night. By conferencing with this student, and getting to know her, I know she LOVES to read. So 45 minutes every night isn’t a stretch for her. You can see from the chart above, you may have some students with 23 points, and some students with 8 points. After conferencing with students about their point goals, I typically allow them to spend a few minutes in the classroom library looking for books, or I may recommend a list for them.

Accelerated Reader Freebie and Set Up - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

To keep track of our Accelerated Reader points, I typically create a display for our required data center in our classroom. Here are some examples below:

Accelerated Reader Freebie and Set Up - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

I currently have students names on a grid-like chart, and they highlight the points across the chart each week as they receive them. I also include start and end dates on this chart in bright RED so my student’s can be reminded how much time they have before the AR goals must be completed. The data tracking, as always, is such an incentive for students.

I created a free Accelerated Reader Start Up resource for you to use in your classroom. In this freebie, I have included pages that highlight my classroom’s AR routines, an AR book log for students’ reading binders, a sign up list for taking AR tests in the classroom, and a teacher data table for setting up your students’ goals.

Click HERE to grab the feebie. ENJOY!

Accelerated Reader Freebie and Set Up - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini


  1. Simonette says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! I love A.R.! My school has shifted from relying heavily just on points to a more balanced emphasis on PERCENT COMPREHENSION and points. I use AR in conjunction with Daily Five, and I use the STAR assessment data to form Daily Cafe/guided reading groups and set individual goals. Does your school have the A.R. goal setting function? If not, have you tried setting goals on ? It’s super easy!!!

  2. I’m “only” a homeschool mom, but I LOVED The Book Whisperer! It was so inspiring. Love your blog :)

  3. Mary- “ONLY” a homeschool mom?! PLEASE GIRL! You ARE a homeschool mom!!! Wear that label loud and proud sister! You’re doing a million jobs that many people wouldn’t even dare to do! I admire you for that!!

  4. Do you have an AR page that your students keep in their data binder to track their own progress?

  5. Anonymous says:

    What point increment do you have on the poster?

  6. Hi Kristine! Where did you find the chart for suggested AR goals? I’ve been searching all over Accelerated Reader and can’t seem to find it. I would love to be able to share this with my coworkers this year!

  7. Hi there! So another homeschool mama here! Do you know where I can go online to test my 4th grader for her reading level? I wish there was an AR program for homeschoolers!

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Erika- Thanks for your comments! I did a quick Google search, and I found quite a few free resources online. However, I am hesitant to recommend any because I have not had personal experience using any of these reading assessments. Sorry I can’t be more helpful to you.

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