I do not believe we are doing children any favors when we have sudents take up reading for the wrong reasons...for a test, for a quiz, for a grade, for a teacher, for school, for points, for prizes, for pizza parties...folks, READING *IS* THE PRIZE, it is the reward, the lifelong love of reading is the gift. In too many schools, students are limited to what they are “allowed” to read and if it’s in the AR database, for example. There is no research to support that taking reading quizzes improves comprehension. The only factors that improve comprehension are comprehension instruction and time spent reading and writing and discussing reading and writing. We need to be very cautious about the silent messages we send to students when we place shallow motivations over their reading, when we create negative associations with reading and punishment or reading and homework, when we use reading as a must-do before students are allowed to do or not do other activities. AR and other quiz based programs, is an easy road of false accountability for schools, administrators and districts...getting to know your students as readers and writers, personalizing their instruction based on their abilities, strategy use, habits, goals, interests, dispositions and attitude towards reading, and having student read formatively to guide them as readers, are more authentic yet higher levels of accountability than most schools are accustomed to, but it’s the right road for students, their reading identity and their life long love and desire to read now and in their future. If you’ve been looking for an excuse or reason to tell teachers “AR is no longer required” I give you permission. #notafanofreadingforpoints #readingistheprize #teachreaders #helloliteracy #listenup #jenjonessaidso #helloquotebubbles
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Jen Jones, Hello Literacy
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