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The purpose of the Reading Counts Program is to encourage children to practice reading. As with any activity, practice is needed for improvement. The program is to be used as a supplement to the teacher’s classroom reading program. There are three basic steps the child needs to do for successful participation in the Reading Counts program.
1. The child chooses a book to read that is part of the Reading Counts program and is in the child’s independent reading level.
To help determine a child’s independent reading level the Scholastic Reading Counts program comes with a computerized reading test known as SRI, Scholastic Reading Inventory. Most of the students will take the test and it is most helpful. Using the results of the test, the teacher then determines the independent reading level and informs the child of his/her lexile. The child chooses an appropriate book using this lexile, checks the book out, and reads it. Although an abundance of wonderful children’s literature is available, not all books are part of the Reading Counts Program.
Each year, we will be updating the program through the purchase of additional quizzes and/or books as they become available.
2. The child reads the book for comprehension (understanding of the story).
It is recommended for lower reading level books that the child independently reads the story at least two times, prior to taking a quiz. The asking of questions is one of the best forms of increasing reading comprehension. Questions like . . . What is the story about? What is the setting? What is your favorite part of the story and why? Who is the main character? Are the characters real or make-believe? How do you know? To aid in comprehension, the child needs to discuss the story either mentally or verbally. Knowing the name of the author is also important.
3. The child takes a computerized quiz of 10 comprehension questions, hoping to score at least 7 out of 10.
Each Reading Counts quiz will ask 10 questions randomly chosen from a pool of 30 questions. Two students sitting side by side taking a quiz on the very same book would take completely different quizzes. Students are told at the end of the quiz if they passed.
It is recommended that a student take the quiz within 24 hours of completion of the book, when possible. They will not be given quizzes on books read last year or several months ago. If the child wishes to reread the book then, of course, the quiz can be taken.
If a child gets less than 7 correct, they may retake the quiz up to two more times. The child is required to wait 24 hours before the quiz can be retaken.
To take a quiz a student must fill out a “Ticket to Test” and have the book in his/her possession. Zehnder Ranch students are allowed and even encouraged to access the text of the book as they complete the quiz.

Please note that Zehnder Ranch does NOT have a quiz for every book found in the above link. There are some 500,000 quizzes of which Zehnder Ranch has about 69,000 with new ones added monthly. Your child can check to see if there is a quiz for a book he/she wishes to read by going on the system at school and checking. Unfortunately, there is not a way to check this from home.