Scholastic Reading Counts! is a software program that allows students to choose what they read from among 43,000 titles and enables teachers to test the students’ reading comprehension. Students can choose from a wide variety of topics, including animals, sports, science fiction, history, humor, and more.

The quizzes are in a multiple-choice format with questions that range from “obvious” to difficult. The questions focus on the characters, the plot, and specifics from the storyline. The responses are then graded, and students are given the option to review their mistakes.

The program also records the books that each student has read, as well as the author, word count, reading level, and number of questions answered correctly. This allows teachers to review their students’ progress. In addition, a district summary report details the participating schools, how many teachers are involved, the number of students served, how many quizzes they took, and the number of quizzes passed in each school.

You can find information on funding sources on the Scholastic Reading Counts! website (http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/readingcounts/overview.htm). Three tiers are available to districts, schools, and classrooms: Tier 1 allows an enrollment of 50–999 students and costs $7.50 per student; tier 2 allows 1,000–4,999 enrollees with a software cost of $6.50 per student; and tier 3 allows 5,000+ to enroll for $5.50 per student. All tiers have a $2-per-student quiz access fee. Users will receive all of the currently published quizzes, and with the quiz access fee, users will be sent new quizzes monthly.

—Kaya Hardin is studying journalism at the University of Oregon and is an ISTE intern.

Copyright © 2009, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l), iste@iste.org, www.iste.org. All rights reserved.

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