Mon 5 Nov, 2007 08:19 pm
Can anyone explain to me the concept behind the "reading calendar"?
The reading calendar has made an appearance in both kindergarten and first grade. Mo was a pretty good reader and he LOVED being read to before the funking reading calendar made it's funking way into our lives.
Now that reading is homework - he hates it. He doesn't want to read or be read to. He cries. He can't read words that he used to read. The only stories he wants to hear are made up off the top of your head stories.
I blame his reblooming illiteracy on the funking reading calendar.
Can anyone possibly explain to me the rational behind the "reading calendar"?
We do this too, though I doubt it starts as young as kindergarten. It's for all students, but mostly for the kids who aren't reading and need to be. Most teachers use it as something to point to for those who do not do well with reading. Most teachers also don't put too much pressure on those kids who are not having problems with reading. So far as I've seen.
I believe it is more for the parent to be aware of how much their child is reading and how much their child should be reading. Talk to his teacher, sooner than later. If he is becoming overly-pressured and is a good reader without the list, maybe he can have some accommodations (maybe you can handle the list and not him).
Until Mo sat and cried during reading tonight I had really forgotten how much I hated the reading calendar.
Last year, kindergarten, I did just say "funk the calendar" and here's what happened during my parent, teacher conference:
T: Why did Mo quit handing in his reading calendar?
P: Because it was making reading a chore instead of fun.
T: But we celebrate the calendar and give out cerificates at the end of each month and now Mo isn't getting a certificate and he feels left out.
P: But at least he enjoys being read to again.
T: Blah blah blah blah blah.
P: Okay, I'll try it again.
This year the reading calendar counts towards his grade. I've been serious about making sure we read and that he fills out the calendar. Every week he hates reading more and more.
Every week reading is harder.
Every week he tries less.
Every week he reads fewer words.
It used to be that when I said "Let's read!" he was all for it and he would try to read on his own.
Now when I say "Let's read!" he cries.
Am I doing something wrong?
I LOVE to read. I read all the time. Our house is filled with books. Mo himself has probably over 100 books. Reading together used to be such a joy. We had fun. He was doing good. Now he hates it. Hates it.
The whole reading thing is making me sad and crazy.
I volunteer at the school for two hours one day a week. Each week I give each child in the class a little literacy quiz. They read a list of words and then they read a series of sentences.
The "bad" readers (now including Mo) are so hard to sit with. They're so frustrated. Almost embarrassed. It breaks my heart.
It breaks my heart because it seems that we are closing the door on reading to some kids.
Funk the reading calendar.
What is a reading calendar?
In kindergarten the calendar was just an initial on a calendar form to show that I had read to Mo that day.
This year he has to write the title of the book we read each night.
In both cases it is essentially a log to show that the parent has read to the child.
I do get that parents need to read to their kids. I do get that some parents don't do it. I do understand the principle of the reading calendar if what it is supposed to do is try to make people better parents, not make kids better readers.
Is that what the deal is?
boomer, it's there to do both. Talk with this teacher, she isn't last year's teacher. You keep the log without his knowledge, without making it a big deal.
I can't keep the log without his knowledge this year because he has to write down the title of each book and how many minutes we've spent reading.
My first conference is coming up in about a week and I will be bringing this up with her.
The other day I was sitting in the hall doing the words/sentences with a kid who isn't a good reader when one of her friends, a good reader, came past to go to the bathroom. Good Reader said "Oh, this is so easy, don't you think?" and Bad Reader just looked at me pleadingly.
I said "Oh. I think it's quite difficult. Some kids are good at one thing and some kids are good at other things and blahblahblah".
I don't know.
The whole thing just kind of pisses me off.
Rant away. You aren't allowed to fill in the log your self? Good job on the student-commentary. Kids can be poopity heads.
So the reading isn't the problem, but the record-keeping that somehow is?
or what the record-keeping stands for (in Mo's head) ...
What does Mo say when you ask him about it?
What is different about reading with a chart/calendar vs just reading?
I used to rant about similar things, boomer. I oftentimes wondered who was the student and whose homework we were doing.
Like the math assignment that included driving around town looking for the tallest structures and counting how many floors the buildings had. How can a child possibly complete that assignment on their own? Here I am, 10 years later still ranting about it.
On reading logs... M, who is a good student and strong reader refused to use a reading log. She deemed them 'stupid' and she wasn't going to do it and didn't care if it affected her grade. I cut a deal with the teacher that I would make sure she was doing the work and as long as she demonstrated grade-level reading skills or better then she didn't have to do the reading logs. Unfortunately our schools used reading logs from 1-8 grades and not all teachers were quite so flexible. At that point I just filled them in and signed them off. M is still a good student and a strong reader -- even without reading logs.
How did the reading calendar become such a negative thing for him? Most kids won't realize things are bad, especially things that they once loved, until someone tells them so.
I want to know why Mo is upset with the reading log?
Do kids at school compare tallies?
Read comic books, newspapers, magazines, song lyrics, cardboard boxes, roadsigns.
Find an alternative thats suits.
The 4th grade teacher I work with allows books on tape, books you read to Mo, etc.
Books I read to Mo count, but he has to write the title in the log.
eoe, I've really wrestled with that and I truly don't think it comes from me. I think it has to do with "have to" read instead of "let's read".
I've tried everything I can think of: reading in the evening and having him fill out the log in the morning. Reading in the afternoon and having him fill out the log in the evening. Reading in the morning and having him fill in the log in the afternoon.... whatever. It doesn't matter -- reading used to be fun and now it's work. We used to read more than we do now.
We read all kinds of stuff, dadpad, starting with the weather page of the daily paper each morning (that's still fun for him). He always brings non-fiction home from the library so I try to toss in some fiction during the week. We subscribe to "Highlights" and love to do the "what's wrong with this picture and hidden picture. We read the Sunday sales circulars.
Those things don't count as reading.
I just don't know.
Like I said: I LOVE to read. I love to read with Mo. Mo used to love to read. It is really sad to see him pull further away from it.
Those things don't count as reading.
Yes they do and they should be entered into the reading log just as book title would be. Draw this to the teachers attention. If the teacher finds this not acceptable tell her to shove her reading calender.
Hah! Those darn reading calenders will follow you throughout Mo's
school years, boomer. My daughter still has to keep a reading log where
she should read 30 minutes every day. She reads like an adult, so
I am not too concerned if she skips a day or two, but I want her to get
into the habit of reading a few pages daily without her feeling that it
is a chore. I haven't succeeded yet, but until I do, I push her to read.
I think you have no other choice than to continue reading with him
until it becomes a routine for Mo.
Boomerang: You said the reading calendar counts towards his grade. How much does it count, and how much does Mo care about the monthly certificate? What would the consequences be if you were to boycott the calendar again and go back to reading just for fun? Would they be prohibitively bad?
Could it have anything to do with Mo's sense of integrity and not wanting to tell a lie? The lie being you reading to him and him having to write in the reading log that HE read something.
It also might be be that someone has made fun of his reading calendar, perhaps because of his penmanship or the types of books being read.
Another thing I thought of while reading the thread is that before it was a "forced" chore, Mo was impressed with the idea that the two of you were reading together for the enjoyment of it and an opportunity for some together time. Maybe now that it is mandatory, Mo is protesting because it has turned into a chore that he gets nagged about rather than something the two of you do spontaneously for the pleasure of being together.
Maybe relax your effort to get him to read some fiction and allow him to read the non-fiction during the week to build up his enthusiasm for reading again.
ah, school... where the organic wonder of learning becomes a soulless, joyless machine... SIT UP STRAIGHT GODDAMNIT!
If I was in Boomerang's or Mo's role, I would vehemently oppose the reading calendar, too. Reading is personal. What I read in the privacy of my room is nobody else's business. I would hate if it was monitored and judged by outsiders. I would reject reading calendars as a serious imposition by the school on my privacy and my family life.
Back in the bad old days, East German teachers would occasionally ask their students what kind of TV programs they'd been watching lately. One goal was to find out whether the family was illegaly watching West German TV. Another was to "save", if needed, the children thus "endangered" by their "irresponsible" parents.
Granted, the reading list policy in Mo's school isn't the same thing. Its purpose is much more benign, and its punishment for non-compliance is just a loss of brownie points in school. It isn't a jail sentence and a loss of your children. Still, as an intrusion into people's private family life, there's a family resemblance between "reading calendar" and what East Germany did. And it's close enough to creep me out.
I wonder if any parents have challenged the constitutionality of this, and what the courts had to say about it if they did. At the very least, though, the inventors of reading calendars ought to be ashamed of themselves.