Zone of Proximal Development
The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is a term borrowed from psychologist Lev Vygotsky. In Accelerated Reader, the ZPD is a range of ATOS book levels that are not too challenging and not too easy - depending upon a student's reading level. Although ZPD itself is not entered or calculated in Accelerated Reader, it is a key component of successful reading practice and target setting.
Star Reading provides a ZPD for each student who has tested (see the Star Reading Reading Range Report). Determining a student's reading level ( from a test such as Star Reading) and ZPD will help you set an average book level target and point target with the student in Accelerated Reader. The ZPD, however, is approximate. Success at any reading level also depends on the student's interest and prior knowledge of a book's content. Teachers should use their professional judgment to adjust the level of books read to match an individual student's needs and interests.
The Target-Setting Chart and the Target-Setting Chart for Lexile® Measures provides guidelines to help you set average book level and point targets based on a student's reading level and ZPD.