I was working on a post about a book every teacher should read. It’s called Nurture Shock, and I will finish the post about it later. We have a bigger issue to deal with here right now.  Over yonder in the comments sections, Mr. M appears to have a rather pesky coworker, and he’s also looking for a little help in the independent reading program department.

First of all… O. M. G. I can see why you have “disagreements” with this person. She is obviously insane. She should seek out a mental health professional at once.

A 140 page per week quota? What is this, a sweatshop? Do the kids earn piecework for every book and notecard they churn out? Your word exorbitant is not even sufficient to describe this. What does she do with the notecards? How does she prevent lying–both parental and student? (That book I mentioned says that 97% of adolescents lie to their parents about 3/4 of their real life activities.)  Is it tied to what she does in class, or is it there just because she’s supposed to have an independent reading program, and of course “mine has to be ‘rigorous’ because I don’t want any slacking”? WHAT IS THE POINT?

If you wanted to turn kids off of reading, and make it a chore, she sure has figured out one way.

I guess you won’t be inviting her to join our little party here…

Second, stop counting pages. Make them read for a specific number of minutes and make them record their progress and make them have a parent sign the log to enforce a little home supervision. You might use a form something like this. That way you can also tell how fast they read, which is a great indicator of reading comprehension.

Third, I have one word for you. Well, it’s not really a word, but I use it like one in my classroom.

KBAR.

Go ahead, follow the link. Read up. I have to go to bed right now, so I’ll be back tomorrow to further explain the wonders of KBAR and how easy it is to get the kids to do all the work.

Meanwhile, I’m sure that some of my loyal readers also have some sort of independent reading program they could lay on Mr. M, so he has some other ideas to choose from.

See you tomorrow.