Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reading at Home

Each week students have an assignment to read at home. Students choose a book that they want to read from home, the library, or the book room. The only requirement is that they log the date, title, time read, and pages. Students are responsible for filling out this chart each week as they read, logging both at school and at home. Occasionally, students will have longer than a week when the school schedule is affected by holidays.

Students can choose to earn the grade they want. The more they read, the higher the score. This is the grade scale:

A = 180 + Minutes
B = 120 - 179 Minutes
C = 60 - 119 Minutes
F = 0-59 Minutes

Although students have no direct assignments associated with Read at Home and the Reading Log, many of the activities and projects in class are based on the book they are reading. The recent project of a Dear Mr. McGuire letter is an example. When students write about their book, it is easy to monitor comprehension and see if students are "getting it." The fact that students can pick their book to read helps because they can find a book that interests them.

The emphasis on reading is largely based on the research from Richard Allington. Allington cites four "background factors" associated with why students have difficulty with reading. According to the author:

1. the amount of reading that students do in and out of school was related to reading achievement;
2. children who spend more time on workbook activities versus reading text are more likely to have difficulty reading;
3. children who come from homes where reading is not modeled have difficulty reading; and,
4. students who have difficulty providing details and arguments to support interpretations of what they read have difficulty with reading.

According to the author, time on task is the best predictor for reading success in students. Put simply, more reading is equal to greater academic achievement.

The best part of this system for monitoring reading, and increasing reading time is how students can control their grades. If they are willing to work hard, their grades will show it.


Anonymous said...

If you can find an interesting book you will want to read more and will get read on!

Anonymous said...

I like how you do the reading log it realy gets Heather to read more than she already does.She reads alot anyway but every bit helps you get smarter.I Also think its great that you let them pick out their own book ,because a child will read more if they like what they are reading.

Mr. McGuire said...

You know, it is hard for me to imagine someone wanting to read, if someone made them read a book they didn't like. If you think about how diverse people are, how could you ever find a book that interested all 20 students in a class? Impossible.

I am glad Heather is reading more.

Anonymous said...

I like the reading log because now I read more than I ever did.I also can read new better books instead of old books that I already read.Some of the new books I read I have never heard of.Some times I feel excited to read a new book!How do you feel when you read a new book?

Mr. McGuire said...


I love reading new books, especially from an author I know. It seems like if I like books by an author, and he/she has a new one, I end up liking it too!

Anonymous said...

I like the reading log because I read a lot more now. Also if I get bored I will always have something to do.