Reading Program Update Part 2: Reading Data-How and Why to Gather it

This is part 2 in a five part series on the advances in my reading program:

  • Part 1: Photo Essay
  • Part 2: Reading Data-How and Why to Gather It
  • Part 3: Data of Differentiation
  • Part 4: Data of Student Preferences
  • Part 5: Data of Book Popularity and Circulation

I’ve just finished gathering reading data for the first time, and its been transformational. This spreadsheet below is a treasure chest for a smart reading program teacher. Please open it up and check it out. I’ve got waivers that gives me permission to publish stuff from class, so no worries.

Book Analysis

Process: Teachers collect this data in different ways. I just had students write on a sticky note:

  • their name
  • the book completed (I told them they could only turn in a sticky note if they completed the book)
  • number of pages
  • and ranking out of 10

I did this retroactively in a recent class period, since I hadn’t thought to do it from when this class started reading in October. Then, I had volunteers from class input the data. Moving forward and in future years, I’ll just introduce this practice when I roll out the reading program in the fall and have students turn in sticky notes as they finish books. This will be way easier to manage, and I’ll be able to handle the data entry myself. Or I might delegate that to the librarian student job. But I’m glad I went ahead and collected the data retrospectively. It’s really invaluable!

Here are just a few stats that jump out:

  • 461 pages-the average read by each student in class
  • 7 books-the average read per student
  • 1624 pages-the most any student has read
  • 26 books-the most books read by a student
  • 53 books- the number of different titles that students have read in this one class

First of all, it is just amazing to see how prolific their reading has been. We have another third of the year ahead of us, so I fully expect these totals to at least double by the end of the year!!!

These stats are amazing support if you need to defend a reading program with  colleagues, parents, administration, etc. The shear amount of language exposure they are getting via reading in conjunction with all the wonderful research out there about literacy/language gains via choice reading is a powerful one-two punch. I just showed one of my school’s wonderful librarians on Friday, and she was just blown away!

It’s also pretty cool for the students to see their progress. The look on their faces when they collected all the books they’d read this year was precious!

Check back tomorrow for my piece on differentiation.



  1. I love this series on FCR – thank you for sharing! I have a question though. Do you collect the data every class? Or every time they finish a book?


    • Moving forward, every time they finish a book. This was the first data collection I’ve done, though, and we’ve been reading since the fall. So, it was a massive collection. Moving forward it will just be a steady trickle as folks finish books.


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