As a class assignment, I wrote a post to our class forum describing the different topics that I was considering. Here's the main text of my post:
As option #1, I'm considering delving into a study of lexiles--how they are determined and whether they are really the best measure of student reading ability. I know that some sources say they are not, but I don't know what the alternatives are. I feel like now that I'm working at an elementary school, I should be a lot more knowledgeable about this, so this project might be a good chance to learn.
For another option, I'm thinking about looking at various reading programs (Book-It, Reading Counts, 600 Minute Reading Club, etc.) and what research says about whether participation actually improves students' reading skills and whether they actually encourage students to become "wild readers" or not.
As a more "book-based" focus, I was thinking about doing something with the Young Hoosier nominees. Not entirely sure where to take this.... I'm reading the Young Hoosier picture book nominees with my students, and I'm strongly encouraging my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to read the intermediate nominees. This is the first year that our school will be participating in the voting, so the kids, teachers, and I are all really excited about the process. I'd like to do something really hands-on with the books, but I'm not sure what that would be....?
After my initial post, I continued to think about my own preferences and also waited for feedback from my classmates.