DUMAS, TX (KFDA) - English classes at Dumas High School use the Google Chrome app, Stackup, to track what students are doing on their school-issued Chromebook devices.
“The teacher gets data on what level the students are reading at and how much time they’re spending reading,” said Instructional Technology Coordinator for Dumas ISD Rhonda Artho.
Over spring break, English Teacher Melissa Wilson challenged her students to compete in a reading contest against other classes at Dumas High School and across the nation.
“We already use Stackup, and we thought it would be interesting to add the challenge to it since it was a national challenge to just see how we could stack up when it came to our reading,” she said.
All six of her dual credit English classes placed in the top ten for the most averaged hours spent reading per day.
The students in her third period class placed first, with an average reading time of 7 hours and 3 minutes.
“They can only choose certain genres or certain topics as they’re working through this,” said Wilson. “It allows them to increase vocabulary as they continue to read, especially as they’re reading things that might possibly be above a reading level or a different reading piece than they’re used to.”
“I read a lot about animals and fashion and crime news and stuff just because I’m more interested in that stuff and I know I actually read it,” said Dumas High School senior Citlali Botello.
“I read a lot of the crime and scandal ones and then history and then a lot of stuff in today’s, like, pop culture and stuff like that,” said Dumas High School senior Addie Elsheimer.
Students said they were able to explore topics they never knew they’d be interested in.
“It really keeps people reading,” said Elsheimer. “Last semester we read a novel and this semester we were like ‘Do we really have to read a novel?’ So we did this instead and I liked it a lot better than reading a novel, honestly.”
Wilson’s classes will get a pizza party at the end of the week and the classroom will get a Google Chromecast for winning the challenge.
She said just participating in the challenge was a win for her students as they continue to hone their reading skills.
“Basically to read something that’s interesting and learn that reading is a lifetime skill, that it’s something that you’re going to use your entire life,” said Wilson.