Ah, the dreaded question…how do we keep students accountable for independent reading? Do we record number of pages read, amount of time spent reading, types of genres explored? Do we require students to summarize reading, have parents sign off, or answer generic questions about their reading? We all know how important daily reading is for students to develop good language, vocabulary, reading comprehension, decoding, and writing skills. Daily reading improves all areas of learning by expanding background knowledge, vocabulary, exposure to sentences structures and imagination (a.k.a. critical thinking).
My school’s policy is for students to read 20 minutes every day a minimum of 5 days a week. However, there are only 2 teachers I know of who actually monitor this required reading. Last year, I attempted to institute a reading log to monitor students reading in my own classroom. I decided to go with an evidence of comprehension model as opposed to a time or pages record. I was sorely disappointed with the results.
My goal was to get students to think beyond just telling the events that happened in their 20 minutes of reading. I wanted them to think about what they had read and the process of reading itself. Despite repeated modeling, whole-class and small-group correcting, and explicit sentence stems and group reading log writing sessions, I was never able to get my students beyond the point of summarizing what they read, if they even understood what they were reading well enough to be able to summarize what happened in the first place.
Here is what I gave them to glue into their composition bound reading log as reference: read_log_and_rubric I found it for free on Teachers Pay Teachers and modified it to meet my students’ needs. I no longer remember who sold this product. If you recognize it please let me know so that I may give the correct person credit for this great resource.
Despite being a few weeks into the current school year, I am still not sure what I am going to do for reading logs. Any suggestions? I may just repeat what I did last year and continue trying to model and correct. Maybe they will eventually build up the higher level skills?