Monday, January 2, 2012

Reading Logs Discourage Reading

I wanted to highlight a terrific comment from a teacher on the "I Hate Reading Logs" post, before it got lost in the tsunami of comments:

I have a great example of the damage a reading log can do. We have a set of twins in fifth grade. One twin has me…personal conferences to set reading goals/ talk about books 3x a week. The other twin has different teacher with a log and a 20 minute a night requirement. The mom came to me to ask for help because the girls are of equal ability and yet they are performing very differently. The twin that has me has finished 8 books already and reads nightly for long periods of time on her own. The other twin has finished one book. She asks her mom to time her and stops at exactly 20 minutes. Its sad! How can that possibly improve her reading. And it’s not just the amount of reading completed, its the attitude about reading. Some teachers on here are saying the log promotes responsibility, but I believe it hinders it. Give students the power and trust them, they just may surprise you!


  1. "Promotes responsibility"? What does someone like that think that "responsibility" means?

  2. Chris- I think I can answer your question. In a school context, "responsibility" means that you'd better knuckle down and do what your teacher says, or your teacher will knuckle you.

  3. Chris, when teachers say "responsibility", they mean "complieance".

    That reminds me of a table I was planning to make, about what teachers say and what they mean ...