Reading Logs and Why to Stop Using them Now!

Are you using reading logs in your school?  Why?

I have seen reading logs do a couple of things – they make readers loathe reading when they have to fill out the logs and they make non-readers lie and fill them out anyway.  This is something I am passionate about in education.  I think we use reading logs so we can have proof that the kids actually read.  I think that is crazy.  We continue this practice to fulfill an adult need.  When you read something in your adult life, do you log it?  Do you write 10 complete sentences to prove that you read it?  Of course not, that would be absurd.  Reading logs do nothing to ignite a love of reading in a child.  In fact, I have seen it do the total opposite.

We are looking at examples of assignments in an admin meeting today. (These are generic assignments and not n from a particular teacher, school, state – however I bet we could find similar ones in almost every school).  I am looking at a reading log now.  It makes me cringe.  I have always been against reading logs but it is really sticking on me now.  If I was a student in school I would laugh if I was given this assignment.  It would make me think there is no way I am reading just to answer these questions.  Now as a principal I would agree 100%!

We have to do a better job creating a love of reading in our students.  We have to stop killing the love of reading and learning.  We do this way too much.  We are trying to significantly reform our model of education and we sometimes cling to ideas and traditions that significantly stunt our progress. Why do we stick to certain traditions that help us hold kids back?  Why?

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