When Numbahs Don’t Lie (2017-8)

Students can’t be reduced to a number. They can’t be defined by their results on a common assessment, reduced to where they fall on a state test, nor limited by their SAT/ACT scores.

However, sometimes numbers don’t lie.

With a towering goal of helping students fall back (or, for a select few, remain) in love with reading–while building their stamina to endure the 600-pages-per-week of reading they’ll be asked to do in college, I need numbers. They help validate what I do in the classroom (e.g., allowing students to choose the majority of their texts, beginning every class with 10 minutes of reading, using Goodreads for goal-setting, tracking, and review-publishing, maintaining a classroom library).

So, at the end of every year, I ask students to tally how many books they read–cover-to-cover during our time together and compare it to what they read the year before.

The. Results. Are. Glorious.

In a world of SparkNotes, Fake Reading, and Beating the System, check out the growth of these amazing, authentic (and hopefully lifelong) readers! It’ll warm your soul.

And just imagine the effect this much reading has had on their writing skills!

DISCLAIMER: These are all honors sophomores. However, I have done my reading experiment-turned-way-of-life for the last 5 years, and the results with my college preparatory students are equally astounding!

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As freshmen, A block read a collective 62 books cover-to-cover from September to June. (See top pic.) As sophomores? 288 books! (See bottom pic.) That’s a 365% increase, folks! 
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As freshmen, B block read a collective 35 books cover-to-cover from September to June. (See top pic.) As sophomores? 245 books! (See bottom pic.) That’s a 600% increase, folks!
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As freshmen, E block read a collective 45 books cover-to-cover from September to June. (See top pic.) As sophomores? 360 books! (See bottom pic.) That’s a 700% increase, folks!
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As freshmen, G block read a collective 95 books cover-to-cover from September to June. (See top pic.) As sophomores? 399 books! (See bottom pic.) That’s a 307% increase, folks! (It’s even bigger if you remove the outlying reading machine!)
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