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This is true, but not motivating, for students

Reading Improves Test Scoresfavicon I’ve seen different versions of this poster many, many times over the past few years.

The numbers seem about right: that if you read about 1/2 an hour a day, you’ll be fine.

But I wish the title of this poster were different. Something like, “Reading a lot makes you a better reader,” would be much better than what’s there now.

The current title asks students to spend their time reading not for joy or knowledge but rather just to raise their test scores.

Yeah, the title needs to go. But I like many things about this poster, including: (1) Double the time doesn’t mean double the words, (2) Double the time doesn’t mean double the test gains. In other words, teachers and students have to find their sweet spot.

Mine was always 3 hours of reading a week, in-class and out-of-class combined. So I fought for 30 minutes a night, five days a week. Students who could make that time commitment often saw huge gains.

Despite my mixed feelings about test scores being the goal of all this additional reading, I’m hopeful that the students at the Hayward school — who read 30 minutes a night and who will read at least 17 books this year — do well on next week’s interim assessment.

It would send a strong message to the ninth graders. Something like this, I hope: If you read a lot, yes, you’ll do better on the reading test. But at the same time, you’ll be proud of all the books you’ve read — more books than you’ve ever read before — and you’ll be happy that the books have brought you joy and wonder. favicon

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