Tuesday, March 21, 2006

8-Period Days

My kids were not reading. Their homework, like countless K-8 students across this great land, involves reading for a specified amount of time and keeping a reading log. Their stark refusal to accomplish this and their families' inability or unwillingness to successfully provide the flank support I need in my assault against illiteracy has forced a retrenching.

Eighth period. 3:08 -- 4:00.

I gave them an ultimatum of sorts: "Reach 45% of your Accelerated Reader (A.R. henceforth) by this date, or you will enroll yourself in 8th period." On the first day of 8th period 45 students enrolled themselves in reading and A.R. quizzing after school four days a week. A few have balked, earning themselves lunch detentions and school currency fines, which escalate daily in the event of non-payment, but for the most part they report on time and do the reading that was previously not happening. We spread out over the entire library, kids in chairs, on floors, on radiators, upside down, under tables, hiding in corners, reading. I man the circulation desk and scan the Web for analysis of the alma mater's basketball prospects, wondering if this qualifies me for intervention funding.

And it's weird, but with all that practice and time put into reading, they are, um, improving. Who knew?


Blogger Polski3 said...

Great! I hope your administration supports your efforts to help create literate students ! Mine wouldn't.

4:56 PM  
Blogger TMAO said...

Sorry to hear that.

Our administration bends over backwards and twists themselves into pretzel-knots to support teachers.

They're pretty swell.

7:54 PM  
Blogger posthipchick said...

unless moderated, i have never given reading logs, for this exact reason. kids won't do it and it's just sort of useless.

looks like you made it work, though!

8:06 PM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

If my kid has to do a reading log, I will make sure she does. It's remarkable that in this country teachers are considered 100% responsible for everything.

If I neglect my kid, it's no one's fault but mine, and no amount of imploring by any teacher could ever substitute for my input.

6:00 AM  

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