"Cutting The Teacher Strings"
My school is BIG on Accelerated Reader (AR)! It is not mandatory for teachers to make the kids participate, but some teachers take grades on AR tests--which means the kids should probably take the test! Many teachers, including me, encourage the students to take AR tests. I always give my students the option to take AR tests on books we/they have read. This past year, our librarian started an end of the year AR carnival. However many AR points the kids earned throughout the year, is how many tickets they get to use for different activities at the carnival. The kids loved it!!
Here is Miller's view: "These programs send a message to young readers that a book's value lies in how many points it is worth, and reduce comprehension to a series of low-level trivia bites gleaned from the book. How does this sort of program prepare students for reading in the world outside of school?"
The librarian challenges the students to read 100 books or chapters by the 100th day of school. How do they "prove" they've read? By filling out a reading log....of course!! Just like AR, I do not make these mandatory, but if the kids want to go to the 100 book celebration, they've got to do it!
Here is Miller's view: "...recorded time spent reading is no proof that students actually read much."
"The log is a reward for students who have strong home support, but a punishment for those who don't."
"...the only way to make sure that your students are reading every day is to set aside time for it in class."
We, as teachers, need to let go of the control, and just let students READ! Yes, we need to discuss, think critically, and write about books, but we need to let go a bit and let the kids READ!
"I want my students to learn what life readers know: reading is its own reward."