I have witnessed that many students choose books based on their covers or their titles, but they fail to read far enough into the books to get interested in the storyline. Instead, they put the books aside and choose another to start, hardly ever getting through 30 pages of any given text. If this is the case, is it any wonder that they do not enjoy reading? If this is the case, students never get the satisfaction of finishing something, of reading a complete story; regarding nonfiction, they only gain partial information, or in many instances, they only look at interesting pictures, making very minimal knowledge acquisition.
I've never been a big advocate for reading logs - those lists of books and pages or minutes read. It's pretty obvious that there is some dishonesty involved in such, and I've not wanted to provide a resource for that dishonesty. At the same time, I realize that I need to hold my students more accountable for their recreational reading. I've always fought for the concept that more reading time, spent with materials selected by the readers themselves, is the best practice for reading improvement, but something more visible might be necessary to encourage completion in reading.
That's why we're going to experiment with Reading Rewards during the fourth quarter. While we have a record of everyone's reading fluency (reading rate), and while I assess weekly for varying aspects of reading comprehension (inference, main idea, etc.), Reading Rewards will give us some information about sustained reading both in and outside of the classroom. The program also rewards readers (hence the name) with "badges" and advancements of "levels" based on minutes logged. Finally, readers can review, recommend, and discuss books to others on the site. The video below describes the program from the reader's perspective.