April 27, 2009
Reading Logs are not a good idea and counterproductive. I read plenty already, but maybe if I didn’t, it would work, though I doubt it; I know the desired effect is that I would remember people would see exactly what and how much I read and read more. But all it does is make me want to read less because I have to record every single page read and put me under the impression that most homework is to control my life unless it is a real project or writing assignment, which is my opinion, shared by my mother.
I know for a fact this ‘log’ doesn’t work with most students either because one hundred percent of the classmates I asked about it said they did not record most of the reading they do. If someone likes to read, it’s an annoyance, and if they don’t, they keep the reading to a bare minimum or lie. Another problem with it is that our school’s Reading Log is that it is, as one of my parents pointed out, quantitative rather than qualitative. Instead of measuring just the minutes and pages, couldn’t teachers have a conversation with students or have a worksheet to see how much we actually learn and get out of the reading?
The entire thing is also not a good idea because only a fraction of the reading most adults and children do is in physical books. To put it bluntly, the Internet is now. It is assumed that most people have at least one computer in their house, and there are millions of websites out there where you could read good, completed works on a number of subjects—message boards, places where people post their unpublished stories, online magazines and periodicals, and much more. Does making students use the Reading logs imply they must document every kind of reading they do? Maybe soon the school system will enforce the rule that we jot it down when we read a sign and to try and find our way around the campground, when we check the instructions in our math workbook, or look at the ingredients on a box of cereal.
This is my opinion on the subject. I hope Mr. Sullivan sees this short essay and it affects the opinions of the teachers and staff.
P.S. I have read informative articles from the first person perspective.
I can’t believe that any teacher would tell her class that all informative articles were written in third person. I read the Science section of the New York Times every week, and plenty are written from personal experiences and studies.
Please visit these links for some things written by parents who noticed these Reading Logs as hindrance rather than help.