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Big reading results for Kindlers in Oakland

favicon I’m happy to report that Kindlers in the Oakland classroom are taking their end-of-year online reading assessment, and their reading skills have improved a huge amount. On average, they have read 13 books and gone up 1.8 reading grade levels since October.

Here are some highlights:

Kindler StevenSince the program began, Steven has read 10 books. Kite Runner and Freedom Writers Diary have been his favorites. His reading level has gone up more than 4.5 grade levels, from 8.3 grade equivalent in October to 12.9 in May. Congratulations, Steven! (Yes, you read that correctly. Steven was a bit below grade level at the beginning of the year. Now he reads at a beginning-college level.)


Kindler JasminJasmin has also done very well. At the beginning of the year, her reading level was 5.4. After reading 18 books this year, her score is now 9.7. In just eight months, Jasmin has jumped 4.3 grade levels and is now prepared to read grade-level texts. Good work, Jasmin! Her favorite books this year were Perfect Chemistry and Water for Elephants. (She also added a mustache to her Kindle case.)


Kindler TameraTamera began the year already an advanced reader, scoring 11.2 on the first test in October. Now she’s at 11.9, or the 82nd percentile. She has read 20 books on the Kindle (and another 10 physical books from the library). Her goal is to read another 20 books this summer. Tamera’s favorite author is Jessica Sorensen, and she has read all of her books, including The Vision and The Underworld. Keep it up, Tamera. Your love of books is inspiring.

What do you think, loyal readers? Pretty impressive, don’t you think? It gets me thinking: Maybe it would be a good idea to let some (or all?) students to keep their Kindles over the summer. After all, summer learning loss is real, especially among urban students. A few articles I’ve read suggest that reading five or more books over the summer can prevent students from falling behind.

We’ll see what happens with the summer idea, but right now, I’m just happy with the results. When students read a lot, and when they get to choose what they read, and when they’re a part of an environment that celebrates reading, many good things can happen! favicon


  1. Megan

    Hi Mark,
    So impressive! What did the kids use as their online reading assessment? Accelerated Reader?I’d love a way to quantify student reading growth each year, but our school doesn’t use AR (And I don’t particularly want to, anyway…).

    • Mark Isero

      Yes, Accelerated Reader. I’ve used online reading tests from Renaissance Learning and SRI, and although I do not believe in Accelerated Reader as a program, I do like its reading assessment. (Schools can sign up just for the assessment.) It’s fast and easy and as accurate as any of the others that I’ve tried. (I’d love to hear your views about AR, too.)

  2. imene

    Great! but not surprising. I read more since I have my Kindle. They should keep their Kindles over the summer. Good idea Mark and congratulations for this impressive work.

    • Mark Isero

      Thank you, Imene, for all your support! I also read more now that I have a Kindle. Although I’m nervous to let students keep the Kindles over the summer, I’m leaning in that direction, particularly if the students are interested.

Please share your brilliant insights!