In order to get a good grade (i.e., A or B) in this English class, students will have to read books of their own selection on their own time. I used to call this "Independent Reading," but now I call it "Reading Practice." Here's an explanation of the difference between those two terms. At the end of each term, a Reading Practice score will be entered into the grades, and this score will have a profound effect on the final term grade. Reading Practice is VERY IMPORTANT to developing the skills we study in language arts classes, and I want students to have the entire term to complete their reading; that's why students submit a Reading Practice Contract at the beginning of each term but the score is not entered until very near the end. While students often have time to read at school (during Homeroom), they should plan to read at least 30 minutes per day outside of school as well. This is a very reasonable expectation. The accepted standard is that students should read 10 minutes for every grade: 1st grade: 10 minutes, 5th grade: 50 minutes, etc., so 30 minutes a day is not unreasonable for a junior high school student. Students must also illustrate that they have understood the books they read. There are many ways this can be done. Here are the most common ones:
Accelerated Reader Tests: Computerized tests that contain 10-20 content questions. Here is a list of most of the books that our school has tests for; new ones come in more frequently than the list is updated. Students can check to see if there are new tests by logging on to the AR program at school. If the school does not have a test for a book, students may be allowed to write the test for the book to earn their reading points, but check with the teacher beforehand to make sure this is an option.
Book Reports: This is the traditional method. Here is the Book Report Format and Writing Specifications.
Book PowerPoint Presentation: This is like a book report, but it is presented in a different format. Students may use this as a project for their Computer Tech class as well as to earn reading points.
Other Reading Information