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Reading logs, reading blahs

Many of us are back to school by now. And for most of us, that means daily reading logs, where a parent signs a log each night confirming that her child has read at home that day. For us, we're on day five, and we're already a little bored.

In the spirit of starting the year off on the right foot, here are a few ideas (hopes? hints?) for teachers and parents that may make reading logs more useful, interesting, and exciting.

I'd love to hear from teachers and parents about reading logs — what has worked for you, and what hasn't?
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Magazines for kids

Sitting strapped into a car seat seems pretty boring to me, and both Molly and Anna agree. We had the brainstorm last week to move all our kids magazines into the cubbies on the seat backs in the minivan. What a great idea! The girls grab one almost every time we get in the car these days, and the magazine articles and jokes are just the right length for our car trips around town. Even issues they've read before seem new again in the car.

Another disincentive: money for nothing

Yesterday's New York Times included an opinion piece by Barry Schwartz titledMoney For Nothingabout a pilot program in New York City schools that offers cash rewards to students based on attendance records and test performance.

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo