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Do you do reading logs?
Old 07-09-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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I teach 4th grade, and last year I had a reading log disaster! Last year was my first year in 4th grade and I was under the impression that all teachers do a reading log and it's just the thing to do. I had so many kids who rarely turned in reading logs. This obviously affected their grades, but it drove me nuts! The kids who already read at home were doing the reading logs, but the kids who don't continued to not read at home. I have tried everything from requiring parent sig. or a short summary, etc. What does everyone else do? Do you feel they are important?


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Old 07-09-2007, 02:38 PM
 
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In the two years I have been back into the classroom, I had horrible luck with reading logs. I have tried so many things and nothing seems to work. I hope to get some fresh ideas from here. Good luck to us!
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we tried
Old 07-09-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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We tried reading logs in 4th gr. during second semester this year, because a coworker really wanted us all to do it. I found the exact same problems you described. Those who were responsible about reading anyway did them and those who weren't did not. It didn't have a positive impact that I could see, and just made extra work for the ones who were doing the work in the first place. I do not plan to try them again, unless someone here has some words of wisdom to make this work better.
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Old 07-09-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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I did do a fluency sheet on Wednesday and it was due on Friday. They had to read it 2 times to a parent, get it signed and return it. That I did have a lot of success with.
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hmmmmm.....
Old 07-09-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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last year was the first (after 14) in sixth that i asked kids to keep a reading log. they had a column to write what it was, how many minutes, and parent signature (EVERY PARENT knew that i was doing reading logs because it was in my back to school handout and i mentioned it several times in my weekly newsletter.) i did not give points if there was no signature. i asked my kids to read 50 minutes a week (10 minutes 5x a week---or they could do all 50 at once, etc); i also didn't care what they read (newspaper, comic book, magazine, etc). i gave 5 points (1 for each 10 minutes).

i, too, had horrible luck. (but since i feel like beating my head against a wall, i will try it again this year--duh.) it should have been helpful to those who could use it in reading, but after several weeks of not doing it, i think it did bring some kids' reading grade down.

hopefully we'll get some good ideas here. i had "threatened", but never followed through on: if they hadn't read, i'd use recess time to have them read. i don't want to get into a big debate over whether that's a good policy or not or if your school allows it or not--it's been done to death. but i kept forgetting to do that (and keeping them in for recess does get old--especially my last group!) but at least then i could have given them the points, rather than a 0.


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reading log
Old 07-09-2007, 02:51 PM
 
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I've tried reading logs in all 3 grades I've taught (3rd-5th). I found the exact same thing that everyone else did - the readers read and the ones who didn't ...... didn't. Some even wrote down bogus minutes and parents signed them. It didn't prove a thing as far as their reading ability improving. About halfway through the year last year I changed it. Now I do my reading log in class where I can see them. It's the last 20 min. of the day, which is right after recess (and after they've packed up) so it makes for a quiet end to the day. They have to write down the title, page started, and page ended. Occasionally I'll pull a child and ask what they're reading, how they like it, read a page for me, etc... That holds them accountable, and I never had an issue with it.

I'm doing it the same way this year - no more home reading logs.
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Reading logs...
Old 07-09-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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I actually have great luck with Reading Logs. If they have read for 30 minutes the night before and their parent has signed on that specific date, I initial it when I check homework in the morning. They are only allowed to get me to initial their reading log if they have a parent signature from the night before. At the end of the month, I count up all my initials and that is how their grade is determined.

If you would like a copy of a reading log, I'll be happy to post.

After reading SusanTeach's post, I also wanted to add that we have silent reading during classtime as well and I do exactly what she says she does.
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Reading logs
Old 07-09-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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I had a good experience with requiring students to read nightly. I started the school year with students required to read nightly for 20 min. I continued to increase the time until they were reading for 60 min each night as we got closer our standardized test in April. I really just tried to get them excited about reading. I introduced them to new authors. series. I also had them read atleast one book in the genre that we were studying. I got parents informed by talking about basic questions that they could ask/discuss with their children. I also strongly informed the parents that they had to visually see their child doing the reading in order to sign off on the alloted reading time for the night. Parents really brought into it. I would get notes that "they could not sign the time because they did not see their child read" or "they could not sign it because their child did not read for the alloted time. Some parents doubled the time the next night if their child did not read. I think it depends on the class and how you get the students to buy into it. In the past it did not work for me but I will try it again like I did last year to see if I get success again.
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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I'd like your reading log pllllllllease
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I have been doing them for 4 years
Old 07-09-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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And it is a battle, but one I will continue to fight! I teach 4th. The kids who bring in a signed reading log with at least 100 minutes get to play homeworkopoly. The kids really love to play this but there are always a few, usually about 4 or 5 kids who just won't do it. With them I tell them that if they won't read at home, they will read during recess. I don't give a lot of homework, so this is one area where I won't budge.


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I've used home logs
Old 07-09-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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for years despite similar lackluster results. I have even put completed logs (used with second graders... five slots per log) in a jar for a monthly drawing of a free book from the next book order. I figured the more logs completed, the more chances to win the book. Incentive, right? NO... I also minimized the writing needed to complete the log (just check if you read on your own or had someone read to you and parents only had to sign each log once). I posted downloadable copies on my website, told the kids a note from home would suffice if they lost the log, etc.

I keep trying because experts like Regie say it's good for readers to have a record of all of the wonderful reading they've done (although she thinks they should be the child's responsibility and don't need parent signatures) AND our district expects nightly reading. The log is an attempt to motivate and keep track. I don't know if I'll continue this year. I also you use class logs... these are part of our response journals. I don't have great luck with these either despite daily reminders to kids to fill them in.
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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Last year I hanged my logs to more of a response thing. There are 5 options and they have to chose 4 to complete. I made several versions so the kids had different responses each week. I used the reading strategies and Thinking Maps. I got a great response from them. In fact, it was a nomal part of homework and I never had to remind them to turn the logs in. I have attached a copy.

(there are several pages. When I copy them, I mix and match so there are 5 total spaces available)
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File Type: doc Response To Literature.doc (59.5 KB, 1458 views)
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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Hi, I've been doing RLs for 4 years....required part of the student's ENG grade. Each month I distribute a colored sheet (easier to find in the clutter of the desk The expectation is to develop the habit of reading so I walk them thru the idea of 5 minutes a night, 10 minutes a night, etc. They quickly see that 'hundreds' of minutes is easily digestible...parent signature is required for each daily(?) entry. I check the RL once in mid-month and collect it at the end of the month. After about January I challenge them to up their monthly target of minutes...some do, others don't...however, it's the habit of reading I'm after and I've had former students/parents report that it was a good idea. BTW - this is a participation grade only - 100% or 50% credit for both mid-month and end-of-month...I teach 7th grade LA - maybe a simpler format would work for your grade - hope this helps
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Reading Journals
Old 07-09-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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My kids do a weekly reading journal entry in the form of a book letter to me. I have the class divided into four days: Tuedays-Fridays, and I bought cheap spiral notebooks at Target that have different colored covers on them. Each color is assigned a specific one of the four days for the book to be due. We model a sample entry based on a read aloud chapter book and they help me write it. I type it up and glue it in their books, along with sample prompts that could be used for a variety of different genres. It is time consuming to answer the letters, but it makes the kids accountable for reading across the week. It is the expectation at our school that each student in third grade reads at least 20 minutes a night, but the reality in our area is that kids are over-booked with activities and some nights they will read, and some nights they won't. I never found it possible to keep track of the minutes, and I found that many parents just signed off on the log whether the kids did the reading or not. This way, they have to do some reading, or they wouldn't have an entry to write. By the end of the year, I can really see the growth in their responses and the types of books they have read.
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Reading Millionaires Club
Old 07-09-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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I read a great book tonight entitled Good-Buy Round Robin. It gives strategies for oral reading and talks about the need for silent reading. At the end of the book there is a section concerning parental involvement. Here is a suggestion from the book. You would have a goal of trying to read one million minutes total. For instance, you calculate the total number of minutes read if every child in the school or classroom would read twenty to thirty minutes every day after school. This figure could come close to one million minutes, hence the name Reading Millionaires Club. The goal is to read one million minutes within seven or eight months. A thermometer chart, entitled, "Let's Make Reading Hot at Our School," could be used to record the figures and could be displayed in the hallway. This might be an incentive for the students to move that mercury in the thermometer up. I was thinking about maybe doing a Reading Millionaires Club using baseball. We might aim for a million homeruns. I would use a simple reading log for the parents to initial. If I do this, I plan on talking with the students about being honest on recording their minutes. I just read this tonight, so my thoughts aren't organized yet. I teach 4th grade, and I'll have 3 classes of reading. I"ll have to figure out what a reasonable goal would be for my students. I might have to change the Millionair's Club title because a million minutes might be too many. Maybe this could help you get your reading logs off and running. I think you just have to somehow get some excitement in counting those minutes. Working towards a goal or some kind of competition seems to push children. I'm going to think about this some more, and of course I'm going to continue reading what others are doing. I get such great ideas from ProTeacher!
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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oh I love the Million minutes! I'd be willing to give them a party if they reached it...like showing a movie for the book we're reading in class and have them do a compare and contrast paper on it. Well maybe like 250,000 minutes club, so I could do my room
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Reading Club with baseball theme
Old 07-09-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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I have a baseball theme in my classroom, so I might use "Help Us Make 250,000 Homeruns" as the title. I won't be able to use millioinaire club either due to having only about 70 students. I'm still thinking! Rewarding them would really help them get excited I think! Good luck!
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AZTeach...
Old 07-09-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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Here is my reading log for the month of August. The reason it starts on August 13th is because that is the start of the first "real" week of school. I change the clip arts, reading quote, and of course dates every month.

Hope This Helps!
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File Type: doc August Reading Record Sheet.doc (35.5 KB, 1174 views)
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:31 PM
 
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I've been doing the logs as part of our weekly homework (due every Monday, 100 minutes total, signed by a parent). It goes in my gradebook but it's worth ~1/2 of a normal homework grade (the kids don't know that). It starts from the second week of school to the last week. I typically have ~2-3 inconsistent kids out of 30 -- the rest eventually get the hang of it.

Here is my log and the letter to accompany it (I think I need to modify it a bit for this year). I have a Spanish version of the letter if anyone wants it:
.
.

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File Type: pdf Weekly Reading Log.pdf (30.0 KB, 1454 views)
File Type: pdf Weekly Reading Log Letter.pdf (21.7 KB, 879 views)
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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I do reading logs during SSR time. When I conference with them we discuss their progress since the last time we talked. I require that they FINISH every book they start. I do have exceptions to this rule though, for instance sometimes my students may get something scary and decide they can't handle it. I don't require a number of pages be read, but I do make comments like, "I really think you can finish this by Thursday". My students did really well and many were very proud and surprised at the amount of books they were able to finish during the year.
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mine
Old 07-09-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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I took it from someone and made my changes, but I don't remember who I got it from
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File Type: doc Home Reading Log.doc (38.5 KB, 1052 views)
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My idea
Old 07-09-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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I, too had horrible luck, especially my last two years where over 90% of my parents spoke Spanish. So, I started requiring my kids to check out at least 1 AR book at the library, and they had to take an AR test on it before they were able to check it back in and get another book. I also started making AR a contest in our room to see who could get the most points, and had milestone markers (small prizes) for so many points. I still had my 1 or 2 who were going to be impish no matter what, but for most of my kids it worked. We threw out the reading logs, and I just monitored AR.
Then, I did something completely TABOO. I put my kids in reading groups. I called them Clubs, and yes, I ability grouped. I gave each group a choice of 2-3 books on their levels to choose from, and then I put all of the responsibility on them. They had to read, depending on the book, at least 1 or 2 chapters a week, and they had to stay together; in other words, if one team member hadn't finished the chapter, the others couldn't go on. They would get together to read daily and discuss. My high group started policing themselves to see how quickly they could finish books. They would aim for reading one chapter a day together, and one chapter at night. The peer pressure worked great on the ones who usually dragged their feet.
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No more reading logs
Old 07-10-2007, 05:14 AM
 
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When I required logs last year (for the first and last time), I really felt like I got many forged parent signatures. I also suspected that, at times, the ones that were actually signed by parents weren't really monitored by parents. They were just signing whatever the child wrote.

My school has A.R., so this year I'm going to assign an A.R. goal (according to A.R.'s goal-setting chart based on STAR results) and take grades on the student's percent of goal reached and test average. Other teachers in my school have been doing this, as does Laura Candler. I am going to make this a homework grade (just like the reading log)--about 10% of the overall grade.

Last edited by stretchberry; 07-10-2007 at 06:13 AM..
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Reading Logs
Old 07-10-2007, 05:29 AM
 
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I have had some success with using what I call CROP QV as a weekly log, but it is such a struggle for that small handful of kids each year, and am sick of fighting it. I think I am going to use my independent reading time to have the kids do CROP QV, because I really like the concept as it itegrates all the skills we teach. Here is what I am thinking I will do for nightly reading:
Weekly comprehension sheet from this book: http://www.amazon.com/Homework-Build...604764-5355904
Weekly Letters: (I am thinking of trying to do this like a parent dialog journal where the kids communicate with their parents. I think that could be really cool, put less work on me, and instill some family reading time. Then on the same token, what about those kids whose families can't or won't respond...possibly make it to any adult or me? I am not sure on the logistics of that one, but am working on it.
REader's Theatre : I would like to incorporate RT into homework simply as practice. Most of my kids do this anyway when we are getting ready to do one, but maybe increase the accountability by getting a parent signature. This one I am also unsure of logistics, as I doubt I will do a RT each week (my principal would kill me if I made all those copies!).

I will use a log in the reading notebook in the callroom, and allow studeents to transfer home reading which would include RT scripts and the books they read for the letters.

Well, I am still brainstorming, but am glad I am not the only one who battles with the reading log every year!
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File Type: doc CROP QV.doc (259.5 KB, 760 views)
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:20 AM
 
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I would like a Spanish version of your letter and log if you have it too. I am teaching a bilingual second grade class this year and anything in Spanish would be a great help.

Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:06 AM
 
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I like your fluency homework for parents and students... what a great alternative to the recording pages, sign thing! I also very much like the weekly amount of reading instead of a nightly requirement. Who do you know reads 20 minutes per night? Not me! It's nice to let them space it out!

Great ideas everyone! You are really helping me rethink nightly reading homework!
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIUTeach
I would like a Spanish version of your letter and log if you have it too. I am teaching a bilingual second grade class this year and anything in Spanish would be a great help.

Thanks!
I'll upload it when I get home later today! The log itself is only in English though, as it is for the students who should know the few terms by fourth grade.

And stretchberry, I work with your AR method as well. 10% of their reading grade is based on reaching their goal for the trimester. Home reading logs are worth about a half of a normal homework grade per week.
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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Here you are!

.
.

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File Type: pdf Weekly Reading Log Letter - Spanish.pdf (20.4 KB, 252 views)
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:08 AM
 
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i'm with you, i tried reading logs for 2 years with 4th grade and as the year goes on... so do the amount of reading logs hand'd in. finally in the final marking period, i put it up as extra credit and still didn't see that many come in.

i don't think i'm going to do it this year i mean it really isn't worth the time to me..
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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Well, i have the same trouble as everyone else.
I pass out weekly reading logs and on the back is some sort of comprehension/grammar skill sheet to apply to the book. It's usually a skill that I am teaching in class. For instance if we are doing contractions, there is a sheet to find 10 contractions. If we are doing cause and effect, there is a form for that too. I teach third and use both the 2-3 book and the 4-5 book.

The link might be too long but on amazon punch in Ready to use independent reading management

http://www.amazon.com/Ready-Independ...4115402&sr=8-6
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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Thanks so much!
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Reading Logs
Old 07-12-2007, 07:19 AM
 
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Last year I used Reading Logs for the first time with my third graders. They had to read 5 out 7 nights. I did not give them a specific amount of time but I suggested about 15 per night. They were to write down the name of the book, pages read, and write one sentence about what they read, one sentence about what they wonder might happen. AJust like others posted, my good readers did not have many problems. Some of them could not meet this goal at all. I did not grade their logs at first, but got tired and wanted some accountability. Even then, by the end of the year, no one, including parents, really cared.

This year my school is starting AR. So hopefully, they will want their points and will read. I am changing my log to 60 minutes per week, to be handed in on Monday. No signature, no credit! I will discuss with them they need to be honest and not get signed off if they did not really do the reading. I am also going to have them write 3 sentences about what they read, predictions, etc. They will also keep another log (in class) where they can record what they read and write down points earned.

BTW, I love the Reading Millionaire's Club. I think I might try something like this for my room. My theme is pirates, so maybe they can move their pirate ship to different islands?
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I do response journals
Old 07-12-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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My students are supposed to read for 20 minutes, then write a short summary, predictions, feelings etc about what they read. It was like pulling teeth to get this out of some kids, but I think its important. I made sure there was absolutely no excuse to not have it done.

1. The 5 entries were due each week on the same day. No guessing about when its due.

2. Once a week, read/respond was a center. On 3 other days, students chould read during lit circle time (if their group wasn't meeting).

3. Students could respond to their lit circle book that they were reading, full length articles in TIme for Kids and other things they were reading anyway. I would set out books on topics we were learning about accross the curriculum for kids to choose from each week (not to leave the room)

4. If we read a story in class together, they could respond to that.

So, if a kids made any kind of effort and used their time appropriately, they probably wouldn't have to do any outside reading at all. Parents didn't give me any problem with it.

I saw a lot of sloppy work, but you know what... a 5th grader should be able to do this. They get to pick any book on their level to respond to.... so nobody can say that the books are too hard. NO EXCUSE! I counted it as a classwork grade. I made a bulletin board out of it... anyone who only missed ONE week all quarter (or didn't miss any) got their name on a star on the board. Class rosters w/ check marks were posted for all to see each week.

I do think its important. They look for main ideas when they read and show you that they can comprehend. Summarizing is an important skill.. predicting... Its a really good indicator for motivation and effort, too.. its so easy and individualized, no excuses, class time provided...

I didn't find that it took too long to grade either. I usually handed them back the same day they handed them in. I would get a couple done before announcements in the morning, a few here and there during the day... most were back to their owners by the end of the day.

I didn't require parent signature. I can tell a bogus entry when I see one... and I saw plenty of them.

I like some of the suggestions here... ending the day (even if only once or twice a week) with quiet reading/responding/conferences sounds like a good way to go.

I am finding more and more each year that you can't really expect the kids to get much of anything done at home. I'd say at least 50% of the kids in my class were this way this year.
 
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great resources
Old 07-16-2007, 11:08 AM
 
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I love the resources posted on this page. Thank you everyone.

If any of you are feeling like dropping the reading logs, I would like to share this little observation. Many seventh grade teachers do not require a reading log. These students told their parents, "I don't have to read anymore!".

I agree that it is like pulling teeth to get some kids to get the logs completed. Some cheat and some parents blindly sign anything put in front of them or (shudder) sign ahead for the month so they won't be bothered. But really, if you just get a few students (and parents) in the habit of reading nightly, then you will have a great accomplishment for the year.

I make my logs worth 10% of the reading grade. My progress reports have logs seperated out. I really like to emphasize how important it is to read.
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That's what I told myself but I want more
Old 07-16-2007, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
I agree that it is like pulling teeth to get some kids to get the logs completed. Some cheat and some parents blindly sign anything put in front of them or (shudder) sign ahead for the month so they won't be bothered. But really, if you just get a few students (and parents) in the habit of reading nightly, then you will have a great accomplishment for the year.
This is exactly what I told myself as I got more and more frustrated with the logs. In the end, I couldn't satisfy myself with just a few; I want more!

After much thought and talking to other teachers, I decided to drop the logs and go with an A.R. reading plan tied to grades (10%). Other teachers tell me that parents will monitor more closely if the child has to (really) read to get a good grade. A.R. provides a quick check for that. A.R. isn't perfect; I've thought about the drawbacks and will do what I can to minimize those.

Of course, if A.R. turns out to be worse than home reading logs, I may try logs again.
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reading logs
Old 07-16-2007, 08:15 PM
 
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I tried them last year and very few students were diligent and honest about doing them. I caught so many in lies, etc. that I vowed that I wouldn't do them again. However, I am going to try something new this year. I am going to give them a choice. Their homework is to read their independent book each night. The students can then choose to write in the reading log each night or write a letter to me once a week answering certain questions about the book. Maybe this way I'll actually get more honest responses about their reading since they have a choice!
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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Bethany,

I am going to try to do reading logs this year and would love a copy of yours. I hope all goes well. I have high expectations.

Amy
 
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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I have done reading logs the last two years with my fourth graders. And, my experience was similar to other posters--some students recorded their reading and others didn't. However, I usually assigned a book project along with the nightly readings that would be due at the end of the month. So, eventhough, some students didn't fill out their log, they still had to read in order to complete the at home project.

I like the idea of completing the logs during silent reading time. This is an idea that I might try this year!
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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Great ideas. I had a great turn out for the last couple of years because we do a sleepover in May if they read enough books to qualify. The also get prizes and food. It was a lot of fun. Doing it this year too.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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Did they have to complete 4 per week or they had to choose 4 to use within that months time?
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Re: Reading logs...
Old 08-14-2007, 08:10 AM
 
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I'd like a copy of your reading logs
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Reading Logs
Old 09-08-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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Thank You So Much, I Have Something Similar If You Like To Read Mine As Well. I Teach 3rd And Fourth And They Are Targeted For Those Objectives As Well.
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