I felt this way...for a long time.
So I kept sending home a weekly reading log and my students kept filling them out and returned them every Monday. When I checked them over, these are a few of the things I noticed:
A student who read 50 pages in 20 minutes
A student who read the same (picture) book all week
A student who read a different (chapter) book every night
Can you relate?
There HAD to be a better way to monitor independent reading that kept students accountable and provided me important timely data.
It's called Status of the Class and it has saved my sanity this year.
Here's how it works...
Every morning after attendance, I call off students' names and they tell me the title of the book they read last night and what page they are on. I keep a record on a chart like this:
- If it is the same book, I draw an arrow.
- The "Q" means a student has finished a book and is ready to take an AR quiz.
- A box around a box (like at the very bottom of the picture) means that a student did not read enough pages the night before and we had a short conversation.
- "No book" means the student forgot to bring a book home and didn't read
- "A" stands for book abandoned
- "Abs" means the student was absent that day
At first, Status of the Class took us about 10 minutes to get through. Now, we're down to about four minutes because students yell out "Same book, page ___" when I call their name. Super fast!!
How has Status of the Class helped ME as a teacher?
- I realize the students who abandon books on a regular basis.
- I can recognize my students' book genre preferences and can guide them toward other genres.
- I can see who is really reading at night. The students came up with the expectation that between 20 minutes of nightly reading and 30 minutes of daily DEAR time in class, they should be able to read 20-30 pages. They now hold each other accountable for that too!
- I can make sure that students who have a habit of "forgetting" to bring home a book, don't.
- I can recognize my wild readers and give them immediate feedback.
Giving up the weekly reading log is one of the best teaching moves I've made this year! If you are a member of the "I Really Dislike Reading Logs But Don't Know What Else to Try Club," I encourage you to give Status of the Class a try!
Thanks to Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for hosting this weekly Tried It Tuesday linky party!