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Home : 2006 : Jul : 11

    I let the reading log go
    By maryteach

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    I quit doing them. I did an anonymous survey with my kids at the end of the year and asked how many TRULY did the reading for their reading log. 40% confessed to lying about it! 40%!!!!!!!!! A lot of parents will sign the log, even if they know it's a lie, so their child doesn't lose the grade. Why should a lying kid with lying parents get the same grade that the honest, hardworking student with honest parents gets?

    Also--beginning this year--we are not allowed to flunk any child over not doing homework. Reading logs were the only homework I gave them. We do everything else in class. I was making the log worth a whole lot of points so if it didn't get turned in, it hurt a lot....but what was really happening was that the same kids were reading, the same kids were not. Some kids who I think were actually doing the reading could not, for the life of them, remember to turn in that log every three weeks. So some kids who were really reading were being knocked down to half credit (ouch!) for a late log, while some of the little liars were remembering to get their lie turned in on time, so they got the A.

    And in the end--the kids who are going to read independently will, and the ones who don't want to, won't. I don't think requiring reading logs had the outcome I had intended at all. You can require reading logs till you're blue, and the students who don't want to read, aren't going to. So I'm done with them. I'm done reminding them over and over that it's due in one week, six days, five days, etc. And I am tired of kids who still don't get it in on time even AFTER all the reminders. I am tired of beating my head against the reading log wall. I was one of the only two holdouts in our English department, and this year, I'm not doing them.

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