Finding Assignments by Skill

By following the steps below, you can find article assignments by skill. You can also schedule the assignments for specific days to choose when the assignments will first appear in students' Assignments list.

You can find articles and assignments by topic and keyword instead if you prefer. You can also assign the Featured Articles.

  1. Select Find Articles by Skills and Standards at the top of the main AR 360 page.
  2. First, select the classes or groups that you want to find assignments for. On the Select Skills or Topics to Practice page, select the text that shows the classes or groups that are selected. When you move your mouse over the text, the text will change to "Edit Selection" as shown below.
  3. In the first column of the window that opens, choose whether to include All Schools or to select the schools; if you decide to select them, check the schools that you want to include. (School personnel and teachers typically only have access to one school.)
  4. In the second column, check the classes or groups to include. Then, select Apply.

    If you started creating assignments for this group previously, and you didn't finish, after you select the students, you will see a message like the one below. Choose whether to continue working on the plan you started (with the skills you previously selected) or to start over.

    If you need to create new groups, select Manage Groups in the top-right corner of the Select Skills or Topics to Practice page. (This button is not available if you have already chosen to plan for more than one class.) For more information, see Creating Student Groups.

  5. Next, use the last link to select the timeframe that you want to assign work for. You can choose one of the week-long time periods in the drop-down list, or you can choose custom dates.
  6. If you choose Custom Dates, click in each field and type the start and end dates or choose them from the calendar. Custom date ranges can be up to 3 weeks long. When you're done, select Continue.

    It is helpful to schedule assignments just one week ahead so that you can make adjustments as needed based on how students do on the work.

  7. Next, choose the skills that you want to find and assign articles for.
  8. If you decide that you want to find assignments by article topic or keyword instead, simply select the Topics tab instead of Skills and Standards. Then, see Finding Articles and Assignments by Article Topics and Keywords.

    Notice that your students' current placement level is shown above the skills.

    If students have taken Star Reading or Star Early Literacy tests, this is an estimate of the median Scaled Score for the students if they were to take the test on the first day of the selected time period. This estimate is based on Star assessment data and Renaissance's student growth models; it allows you to use Star's proven validity and reliability to have a good sense of your student's achievement level as of today. The placement level is calculated using some of the students' recent tests and typical growth rates (see Student Growth Percentile). For more information, select  on the right side of the page.

    Ideally, groups of students are placed in the Learning Progression based on their Student Growth Percentile or their scores on prior Star tests. However, there are instances where a group of students has no prior testing to go by. In this case, an appropriate placement is calculated ahead of time.

    Test Data/Scores Used to Place Students on the Learning Progression for Reading

    • The preferred data/score for placement is the Student Growth Percentile in reading.
    • If there is no Student Growth Percentile in reading, the most recent Star Reading test score is used.
    • If there is no Star Reading test score, the Student Growth Percentile in early literacy is used.
    • If there is no Student Growth Percentile in early literacy, the most recent Star Early Literacy test score is used.
    • If there is no Star Early Literacy test score, calculated placement is used (described below).

    Calculated Placement

    Renaissance has run thousands of simulated Star tests, creating a pool of testing data for "hypothetical" students in every grade. This data was passed through our Student Growth Percentile calculations to give each student an end-of-year (spring) Student Growth Percentile; the data was also compared to the cut scores for every state.

    For each grade and state, a student was selected from the data pool who met two qualifications:

    1. The student met the end-of-year proficiency requirements for the student's grade and state, and
    2. the student was in the 50th percentile of his/her peers.

    This means that for every grade in every state, we can take this student and reverse-engineer that student's journey through the school year, calculating the student's placement in the learning progression for any given date within the school year. That calculated placement is used to place groups of students who have no test data/scores of their own.

    If the group of students has been placed much higher/lower on the learning progression than you expected:

    When placements are calculated, they take into account the standards set by the state. If your state has very high standards set, the path through the learning progression will start and end higher than normal. This may result in students being assigned skills that are a grade or two above their actual grade level (the converse is also true).

    The closest score to the placement level is selected in the slider. Based on the score in the slider control, the suggested skills are shown first and are marked with the "Suggested" banner in the lower-left corner of each skill (see the last skill in the example below). To select these skills or other skills, check the box for each skill.

    To see skill details, domains and standards, and prerequisite skills, select .

    Then, select the categories on the left to see each type of information. When you're done, select Close.

    To see skills before or after the skills that are shown, select the arrows to the left or right of the selected score, or click on the line to the left or right of the arrows. However, search (described below) is a more effective way to find AR 360 assignments.

    If you want to search for skills, select the magnifying glass to the right.

    Then, enter term to search for in skill names ( below). You can also use the drop-down list to choose a domain to search .

    To quickly find article assignments, search for one of these keywords: Argumentation, Author's Purpose, Author's Purpose and Perspective, Author's Word Choice and Figurative Language, Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast, Connections and Relationships, Facts vs. Opinion, Inference and Evidence, Main Idea and Details, Modes of Representation, Organization, Prediction, Sequence, Summary, or Word Meaning.

    After you search, the page will go to the next matching skills, which will be marked with a triangle (see above). Other, nonmatching skills will be dimmed. You can check these skills as described above. When you click the left or right arrows, you will go to the previous or next matching skill instead of the closest one in the progression. If you want to clear a search, select the x next to the number of results .

    If an aligned pacing guide is available, you will see a gear icon (circled in the example below). When you click the icon, you can switch between using your pacing guide and the state standards Learning Progression, which includes grade-level skills in teachable order.

    If you have chosen to use the Learning Progression, it is from the learning standards that the district administrator selected in the Learning Standards preference.

  9. When you have finished selecting the skills that you want to teach, select Continue > under the selected skills (or select Choose Your Assignments at the top of the page). You will go on to a page where you can choose assignments; after that, you can choose the days when you plan to teach the skills and use the assignments. (If you don't want to save your selections or continue, select < Back at the bottom of the page to go back to Accelerated Reader 360. If you have gone forward one page and come back, you also have a Cancel link at the bottom of the page that lets you cancel the plan and your selections.)
  10. The top of the next page lists the skills that you selected to teach.
  11. Below the list, you will see a list of AR 360 article assignments that have been found for the skills. Notice that the color on each assignment matches the color of the related skill in the list above. (If an assignment applies to more than one skill, all colors that apply will be shown for the assignment.)

    Some skills do not have matching AR 360 article assignments. If you need to go back to select different skills, select Select Skills or Topics to Practice at the top of the page or < Back at the bottom of the page.

    In the search results, short names are shown for the skills; to see the full names (or other applicable skills if more than one applies to the assignment), select .

    If you select View Details when viewing the skill names, you can see the skill details, domains and standards, and prerequisite skills (if available).

    If you want to search for assignments for one skill at a time, remove the check mark in the Selected Skills for the other skills.

    If you want to narrow the list of results, you can search for a keyword in the search field.

    Use search rather than filters to narrow your results; AR 360 assignment results are already using the appropriate criteria.

    If you have more than one page of results, use the arrows at the bottom of the page to go to the next page of results (), the previous page (), the last page of results (), or back to the first page ().

    You can also choose whether to sort the results by relevance or by title (from A to Z or Z to A).

    To preview an assignment, select Preview. The assignment will open in a new tab in your browser, and you will see the assignment as a student would see it, starting with the assignment instructions, and then continuing with each assignment item. (The article text is included with each item for reference.) To go on from one step to the next, select Next > or select one of the item numbers at the bottom of the page. Any work you do on the assignment will not be saved since you are previewing. On the last item, select Finish; then, select Finish again in the confirmation message. If a quiz is included, you can select Take Quiz to take it. Select Close Window to close the tab when you are done.

    Remember that AR 360 is still open in your original browser tab.

  12. To add one of the assignments to the groups you have chosen, select Add to Plan to the right of the assignment name.

    If you are planning for more than one group in the same class, you will be asked to choose the groups that you want to use the assignment. Check the groups; then, select OK.

    After you add an assignment, you will see the "Added to Plan" message:

    You can see how many assignments have been added for each skill in the list at the top of the page. Select the down arrow to the right of a number to see which groups the assignment has been added for.

    You can delete an assignment from a group by clicking the X to the right. If you delete an assignment from the All Groups list, it will be removed from each of the groups.

    You can also remove an assignment for all of the groups that you are planning for by selecting Remove under the "Added to Plan" message for the assignment:

  13. When you have finished choosing the assignments for the group(s), select Continue > at the bottom of the page.
  14. On the next page, you can schedule the skills and assignments that you have selected. At the top of the page, you can choose when you will be teaching each selected skill. To move the skill, click the skill and drag it to the day(s) that you prefer.
  15. To expand the skill over multiple days, select the arrow to the right of the skill name and drag it to expand the skill over the days that you prefer.

    Any days off that your administrator has added for the school are marked so that you can avoid scheduling work for that day. Days off are not shown if you selected students from multiple schools.

    Below the skills, you will see the selected assignments. To choose the day when students should start seeing each assignment in their Assignments list, click the assignment card and drag it to the day that you prefer. If you are planning for more than one group in the same class, notice that each group has a separate card for each assignment; this allows you to plan to do the assignment on different days for different groups. As you move the assignments, the skills at the top of the page will also move or expand to reflect when students are working on the skills' assignments.

    If you want to delete an assignment or to preview it, select the assignment card. Then, click Delete in the Details window to delete the assignment from the plan, or select View to preview it in a new browser tab.

    If you want to add more assignments, select Add Assignments to go back to the page where you choose assignments.

  16. It is a good idea to print or save the schedule. To do this, select Print or Create PDF at the bottom of the page.
  17. Since you can't review or change the assignments after you create them, it is a good idea to print or save this page as a record of the days you selected for skills and assignments. This is also helpful if you want to share the assignments with other teachers since only you can see the assignments that you have created.

  18. When you have finished setting the schedule for skills and assignments, select Create Assignments at the top or bottom of the page.
  19. If you need to go back, select  < Back at the bottom of the page or one of the links at the top of the page.

  20. The window that opens will confirm the students you are planning for and the date range.

    If you do not have a previous plan that you can add the assignments to, you will be asked to name your plan so that you can recognize it later when you view results. Enter a name for the plan.

    If you have a previous plan, you will be asked whether you want to add the assignments into the last plan you created or to create a new plan period. Select one of the options; if you choose to create a new plan, you must also enter a name for the plan.

    You'll also be reminded that the assignments will be listed in the students' My Assignments list on the dates that you have chosen. You cannot change the schedule once you finish; be sure that you have the assignments and schedule that you want before you continue (click Cancel if necessary). When you are ready to finish and schedule the assignments, select Continue.

  21. When the window confirms that work has been assigned, select OK.
  22. Students will see the assignments that you selected in their Assignments list on the dates when you scheduled them.