Today I stumbled across an interesting blog post by a parent lashing out at the use of reading logs by teachers. You should check it out: The Reading Log: The Quickest, Most Effective Method of Killing a Love of Reading.
Many of the comments were agreeing with the author’s take on reading logs being a waste of time, and not being a good way to promote reading. It made me realize that parents, and maybe even some teachers, might not understand why reading logs are used.
In a perfect world every parent would take the time to read or expose their child to reading on a regular basis. This is not a perfect world, and many households do not promote reading on a regular basis. In some cases a reading log may encourage a parent to promote reading when otherwise they might not.
I agree that at times reading logs seem like forced reading. You need to remember that your child is practicing and honing one of the most important skills they will learn in school. The skills and strategies used in reading can be applied to just about every subject that your child is learning.
Some children are wowed by the competition created by logging their reading. My son is a visually motivated child. He loves sticker charts, punch cards, and he also loves watching his reading numbers increase on Reading Glue each week. For him, reading logs create a self-competition that continues to drive him to read each night.
Most importantly, reading logs help a teacher analyze what a child is reading. They give a teacher insight on what genre / types of books a child is reading. Teachers learn what types of books a child likes or dislikes. This knowledge can help teachers promote personalized learning that might be more interesting or engaging for the student. On the flip side, teachers might be able to make suggestions to a parent based on what they see the child reading and enjoying in class.
Reading logs are a lot more than forced reading. Sure they may be a pain to keep up with, but they serve important purposes in many different ways. What are the different ways you use reading logs in your classroom or home? We would love to hear about your own experiences in the comments.
This post is by James Stubblefield, one of the founders of Reading Glue. You can follow him on Twitter @jameswilliamiii.