Are Reading Logs Good for Readers?

The Debate....

Over the past decade book logs have found their way into many reading classrooms from kindergarten through high school. This "tool" used by many teachers to check up on the reading life of their students is the source of great discussion lately. This is a place to read opinions from literacy experts, teachers, and parents. I am not an advocate FOR book logs, nor am I advocating removing them from our teaching practice. This is a place to hold my research as I delve into this topic to learn what all the fuss is about!

Happy reading!

Alyssa Toomes

From the Experts

Is Donalyn Miller's 40 Book Challenge a Good Idea?

The Importance Of Keeping Reading Logs

Welcome to the We Read. This web site is designed to help you encourage children to read. We want to help empower you to use the internet and technology to engage children and young adults in the joys of reading and writing. If we are able to raise parents' awareness of the importance of reading to their children, then that's an added bonus. Reading is such an important part of any child's development, we cannot afford to just take it for granted.

Reading logs aren't learning; their obedience

by Scott McLeod

Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues. After 14 years as an Educational Leadership professor, Dr. McLeod currently serves as the Director of Innovation for Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens).

Somewhere in the Middle....

Reading Logs: Our Own Hot Topic

by Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Teachers' Opinions

A Great Challenge to Teachers Who Use Reading Logs

The Return of the Dreaded Reading Logs

by Jen Marten

I am a veteran teacher who looks forward to the beginning of this school year (#26) as much as I did the first year. I love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.As a parent, I have watched the child development and reading readiness from my coursework unfold before my eyes, and I believe I am a better parent because I teach and a better teacher because I am a parent.I believe that learning is just as important for me as it is for my students and children, and that is why I continue to take graduate classes and pursue other professional development opportunities.I am a National Board Certified Teacher, and I am working toward a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction Leadership.

One Teacher's Point of View...

Studies confirm that individuals which read regularly considerably improve the reading proficiency, habits, fluency, vocabulary, and writing and spelling skills of students (Nation 1997).

A good reader doesn't just sit back and idly let the book take them along wherever it may lead. Critical literacy requires more than passively absorbing what is on the printed page; "it requires attaining a deep understanding of what is read, remembering important information, linking newly learned information to existing schemata, knowing when and where to use that information, using it appropriately in varied contexts in and out of school, and communicating effectively with others" (Graves, Juel, and Graves 2000, 24). Being a critical reader means you think about what you are reading, ask questions, and apply those answers to both real world and academic situations.

In the Reading Log students will note what they have read (title, author, page numbers), summarize what they have read, and answer a question about what they have read using textual support (a quote).

Reading Logs: the good, the bad,
and the ugly

I am the mom of 2 boys--a high school athlete/mathematician with an awesome sense of humor and a very special child severely affected by autism. They keep me busy! I have been teaching for more than 20 years and absolutely love making a difference in students' lives by helping them see how fun and meaningful learning can be! I also very much love teaching and working with adults--whether it be doing teacher training, blogging, or creating resources to help push teachers to try new things! Thanks for stopping by my blog and make sure to come back often!

About Cathy Miranker
I discovered bookmaking about a dozen years ago and since then I’ve been both a voracious student and a busy teacher. That stick figure is me(!), drawn by a 1st grader in one of my classes.

Having pioneered the Youth Programs for the San Francisco Center for the Book, I am now an independent instructor. I also take great pleasure in writing this blog. When not working with kids and teachers, I experiment with historical bindings and contemporary book forms, and make boxes and protective enclosures to house antiquarian books and ephemera.

Why Book Reports and Reading Logs Should be Outlawed

By Tammy Harris

I am a Coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education. I direct programs for beginning teachers and teacher effectiveness throughout San Diego. Previously, I taught in general and special education elementary classrooms for 14 years.

Parent Opinion

I Hate Reading Logs

by Sarah Bennett, author of A Case Against Homework

The Reading Log: The Quickest, Most Effective Method of Killing a Love of Reading

I'm Lisa, mom to seven kids, five of whom are currently in grade school (one with special needs), and one who is in high school. Here I share my thoughts and experiences with the educational landscape in which my kids live.

Tips for Students to Avoid Reading for Book Logs

The sad truth is that students will jump through a hoop just for a grade and go to any extreme to avoid something they don't want to do or see as irrelevant. Here's a perfect example. Students can just Google to find out how to fake a reading log and there are 4 easy steps. Sad, but true....