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I developed You-Log Reading to help address some of the problems and concerns often voiced by both parents & teachers..

  • The chore of logging: With my digital reading log app, kids/parents can scan the bar code of a book, and title, author, book cover, publish date, etc. are automatically retrieved from an online database (Amazon’s API).
  • Paper management/Losing logs: There is no more paper! All the data is stored on one device. Reports can be customized (based on a teacher’s criteria) & emailed to the teacher as a PDF.
  • A student’s reading log data is not utilized: You-Log Reading allows kids (and adults) to set a variety of reading goals & then track their progress with colorful graphs & cherts.
  • Accountability: This is where I have to side with the reading log naysayers.. In my classroom, reading logs are optional! AND, they are the responsibility of the reader to maintain. I have found that 50-60% of the 20-24 students in my 5th grade classroom each year, choose to log their reading- and love to do so! The ones who choose NOT to use reading logs tend to fall into 2 categories: (1) students who are high/motivated/avid readers,and (2) students who are very low, unmotivated readers.

I should add that in the past when I required this first group to log their reading, it was counterproductive! Logging reading interfered with their love of reading. I play the guitar.. If my wife told me she wanted me to log how much time I was playing guitar along with all my song selections, I’m quite sure (if I agreed to it!) that this would take the edge off of my passion for playing. (It would also most likely drive a wedge between me & my wife- as I’d question her motives for this strange logging request!)

Requiring my lower/unmotivated students to log their reading was also counterproductive. This would be comparable to my wife asking me to log every occasion I do laundry! Yeah, her motives here would be fairly transparent!

My advice to parents & teachers who are on the fence about reading logs is as follows:

  1. Make reading logs optional.
  2. Make them quick & efficient to complete.
  3. Make them relevant to the individual reader.
  4. Give readers ownership & responsibility for maintaining & tracking their own reading logs & data.

Enjoy YLR!

Mark Butler
Educator & Software Developer

email: mark@you-log.com