Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s, where Angie, a future PTO president in Utah wrote about how she brought the issue of reading logs to the attention of her board of trustees. Below she writes about the proposals she suggested to the Board of Trustees.
How I Brought the Issue of Reading Logs to the Attention of our Board of Trustees
by Angie, incoming PTO president, Utah
VI. My proposal:
a. Focus our efforts on educating parents as to the importance of modeling being a reader themselves, talking about their own books with excitement and enthusiasm, and inviting their children to read with them.
I. Parent education could take place at Back to School Night, the weekly newsletter, parent /teacher conferences, etc.
a. At this point the Vice Principal said, “I love it!”
b. One BOT member said, “I would love to hold book club discussions in the library during the lunch period for kids who are interested like we used to do.”
c. The Principal described ways we could utilize the weekly e-mail newsletter to educate parents about this and other issues.
b. If further information was desired, I offered to hold focus groups with other parents asking questions like: Do you enforce reading logs? If so, how? Have you ever had a negative interaction with your child around reading logs? Do you believe Reading Logs encourage a love reading or do you think it is having the opposite effect?
VII. Then the question was brought up by a BOT member: What about kids who won’t read?
VIII. Addressing the concern over reading proficiency: I presented information on the Reading Assistant by Scientific Learning as a possible option for the school. I had previously contacted the company and spoke with the representative for my area and had pricing, brochures, and a CD demo. (I handed these out in a folder with Sarah Pak’s post at the beginning of my presentation.)
i. I described this “Reading Coach Technology” that uses speech verification (superior to speech recognition). Students read leveled passages into headsets, are prompted when they struggle with a word, listen to a recording of their voice, and are evaluated for fluency, WCPM (Words Correct Per Minute), and comprehension. Simultaneous, individualized practice, feedback, and evaluation for the entire class in 20-30 minutes. Teachers can access a student’s profile and recording of their voice from any computer. Creates trend lines for the class as a group.
1. Due to time constraints, our students currently receive minimal individual coached reading practice per day within their reading group (less than 5 minutes). Also, the testing of WCPM and comprehension is so time consuming and laborious that by the time teachers are able to get through the entire class, it seems to me that the data would be old.
ii. Of course, while this technology may increase proficiency, a love of reading will come from being inspired by teachers’ and parents’ examples.
IX. Those at the meeting seemed to be very interested and curious about the software. Perhaps a concrete alternative like this could allay some concerns about losing proficiency if we were to discontinue the Reading Logs.
Nothing has been decided at this point. It will be up to the Board of Trustees to vote on it. One vocally supported abandoning Reading Logs and one seemed opposed to it. The other three did not express an opinion. No matter what the outcome, I think this will open the discussion and get the dialogue going. I am grateful I have a school that wants to have input from parents and is truly dedicated to serving our children, even though we may see things differently. I’m looking forward to the final word—which may not be until next year.