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Reading Logs
Old 06-19-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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My administrator has expressed a desire to get away from reading logs as a timed, nightly, required homework event, and into something that will do more to foster a love of reading and an understanding that reading happens in more ways than just "sit down with a timer." She has asked me to identify some research outlining the pros/cons of timed reading logs, so that we have something to come back to staff with in August, showing best practices. Where can I start? I don't even know where to begin looking!

Thanks!!


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Old 06-19-2012, 10:03 AM
 
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I am interested in seeing the responses you get. My standing assignment for my 4th graders is to read 20 minutes 4 nights a week and get their reading logs signed. I also have them write one reading response a week. I keep abandoning reading logs, and then going back to them. I find that many parents (not all parents) just sign the logs without knowing if their children are actually reading. Home lives are so busy that even the best parents sometimes get so overwhelmed and just sign. Let's see what others come up with! Good topic!
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Active Reading
Old 06-19-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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I do something called Active Reading each night. Students are required to read at least 10 pages in anything of their choice - even if it's a magazine. Once they read they are to pick one question from a list for each day. The questions are not asking them to tell me what they read, but relate it to something else or go beyond just understanding the text. I have had really good feedback from parents about this assignment, and for the most part I don't really have a huge issue with kids not doing it. I have a copy of the questions that I ask... if I can find them I'll attach them if you're interested
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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I would love to see your list of questions for nightly reading. I'd be grateful if you could share. Thanks.
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questions
Old 06-19-2012, 06:49 PM
 
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Here are some questions you could use with a nightly log.


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File Type: pdf readingjournalentries.pdf (51.7 KB, 710 views)
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logs
Old 06-19-2012, 06:53 PM
 
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Here are some sample reading logs that don't require a set number of minutes. I like the variety of response options, I don't like how little space there is for writing.
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File Type: pdf Reading_logs_3.pdf (226.1 KB, 643 views)
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Response Journal
Old 06-19-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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I use this in my classroom for response to reading completed outside of class.
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File Type: docx Reading Response Journal.docx (15.1 KB, 578 views)
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Last one...
Old 06-19-2012, 06:58 PM
 
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I have also used this in the past and required that my students complete 2 or 3 a week in response to their time spent reading outside of class. It also works well for an emergency substitute lesson.
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File Type: docx Silent Reading Record.docx (11.9 KB, 418 views)
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing your journal entries/reading logs ideas. I'll file these away for next year.
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Reading Logs
Old 07-01-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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The biggest reason I moved away from reading logs many years ago was because it taught my students it was okay to be dishonest. I work with upper grades and the children would complain about being extremely busy especially during the fall and spring and had every excuse in the world for not completing their homework. However, at the end of the month, they would turn in a reading log showing they read 'x' number of minutes each night and parents would sign whatever the child put in front of them just to 'be done with it'. I also had parents who signed the reading log the first day of the month or initialed every day of the student agenda at the beginning of the month. So in return students were receiving an "A" for turning in a signed paper that was a lie.

At first, I wanted to believe they were making time to read on a nightly basis so I asked the question during a class discussion and heads went down and I lost eye contact with a majority of my class. That is when it hit me and I did away with reading logs immediately.


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Thanks MrsPic
Old 07-01-2012, 02:21 PM
 
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for sharing your resources. They will make revamping my reader's notebook easier.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:25 AM
 
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Thank you for all the information in this thread. You all are so helpful!
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Very Interested
Old 07-05-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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I am a first year teacher (3rd Grade), and I plan to use more of a Reader's Notebook approach to tracking the reading in the classroom, and I have been searching for ideas for the homework portion of the reading. (Modeled after Beth Newmingham...her site has awesome information!) I love one of the previous posts that introduced the 10 pages and respond with a connection --- I will be thinking about stealing that idea

At the school I will be working at, the standing policy is for students to read 15 min/night after completing the take home assignments. I have not yet met with my grade level team, and I am not sure they will be willing to change their standard reading requirements --- but I really want students to be reading intentionally.... and as other posts have pointed out, some students/families do not participate fully in the reading requirements with honesty! (As a working mom of 3, I can honestly say there were nights I just signed and made my kids make up the time later...GUILTY!!)

Your administrator's request to provide research backing has me curious - I think I will start doing a little investigating on my own, and I will be checking back on this posting thread for more info! Thanks for sharing!
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Two Cents Worth
Old 07-05-2012, 12:25 PM
 
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Have you all read The Book Whisperer? She is against Reading Logs and I have to say that I get tired of them as well. YET! My principal requires them. To appease us all I created a kid-friendly version. There is a place for kids to check "no opportunity" because there are days when we just can't sit down and read whether we are 10 or 50! I also have the parents sign it only once a week but this year will require it only once per log. To make it easier on them IF they are organized and responsible for so many weeks with signatures then they are released from having to acquire them.
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File Type: doc Reading Log for Voracious Readers.doc (42.0 KB, 431 views)
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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Kitty - LOVE that log! Stealing the idea.

Last summer I read The Book Whisperer and totally shifted my thinking. I never took a "grade" on the reading logs but expected them anyway. A while ago I did a nightly 2 - 3 sentence response that changed all the time and those were graded...but last year I just did the 30 book challenge (many of my kiddos met their goal!!). No reading log. A few parents were SHOCKED and pissed that I didn't have a reading log...but it was still assigned each evening "Read for Pleasure - at least 20 minutes". The kids always wrote it in their assignment notebooks, so it was an expected assignment.

This year we have a million minute challenge (ugh! I asked that it be number of books instead of minutes, but either way it will hopefully foster a supportive reading community throughout the school) and I am expected to track minutes read. I was thinking about having kids time themselves reading five pages in their book when they begin it. Then they can get an idea about how long it takes them to read a page in the book, so that when they finish it we can turn that into a number of minutes??? I don't know!

I hate to go backward toward reading logs when I feel like they aren't very helpful....I think I'm going to take Kitty's log idea and switch it up a bit into page numbers.

This was absolutely no help to the original post. Sorry!
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Reading Logs
Old 07-08-2012, 05:06 PM
 
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I grade my logs this way (and it is a homework grade): If you turn it in on Monday - 100, Tuesday - 90, Wednesday - 80, Thursday - 70 and that's it. It turns to a zero after that. Those who can get consistent 100s (maybe 4 in a row) are showing they are responsible and don't need a signature anymore. I also have a voracious log where they are required to read 25 books but of different genres (I'll post) and there is a bar graph on the back side for tracking. Most will stick with the same thing all year like Goosebumps or fiction but they have not seemed to mind trying other books. I have fifth graders.
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File Type: doc Voracious Reading.doc (32.0 KB, 213 views)
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Active Reading Questions
Old 07-11-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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Here is a copy of the Active Reading Questions I give my students at the beginning of the year. I usually spend the first couple days going over each of the questions as a class and using a book we've read together to show them exactly how to answer it. From that point it is up to them.

I usually take up their notebooks on Fridays so that I can read and respond to their reflections over the weekend.

Hope this helps
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File Type: docx Active Reading Notebook Questions.docx (15.3 KB, 316 views)
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This same subject is currently
Old 07-11-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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being discussed in VENT II under this heading: "OMG! Do Parents Hate..."
Be sure to check out this post for further thoughts and ideas.
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Reading logs are impractical
Old 07-12-2012, 02:59 AM
 
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at least in the upper grades. As a pp said, it simply encourages the children to lie and the parents don't see the value, so they go with it.

I have quarterly AR goals, so whether that means you read 20 minutes every night or you read for an hour on a Sunday evening, it's all good as long as you meet the goal. The children who love to read will read, and the children that don't will at least get enough read to make their goal.

I think we need to get away from trying to make every child love reading. Kids are different, and not all of them will love it. However, we need to make sure they can all DO it. For the kids that don't love it, forcing them to do it for a prescribed amount of time every day isn't going to make them love it - in fact, it will have the opposite effect and they'll shut down.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:31 AM
 
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I have learned over the last couple years that you can get a child to enjoy reading if you invest the time to teach them how to find books they will actually enjoy. By taking the time to find out what topics they find interesting, you can help show them how to search for books on that topic. Yes, it takes time and extra energy, but it is well worth it. Also, I do believe that it is important for every kid to read every night, because it is impossible to grow as a reader if you don't practice. I tell my kids that they have to practice reading just as if they were practicing for a sport. If teachers give up on the idea of getting kids to enjoy reading, then I'm afraid we are going to have a nation full of non-readers

As someone who HATED reading growing up, I would have appreciated someone taking the time to do this for me. Maybe then I would have enjoyed it a little more. I understand how these kids feel, and feel as if it is our job as educators to make sure that every student learns how to find success and enjoyment in reading
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Reading Log research
Old 07-12-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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I don't think you will find any research regarding the specific use of maintaining timed reading logs and their effect on reading, I've never seen any in the 35 years I've been teaching.

What you will find is the research that says time spent in sustained silent reading improves reading. Well of course it does, duh!

Timed reading logs are a management/student accountability tool used to keep track of the time, pages, genre, etc. students are reading. They aren't effective in improving reading because they aren't meant to improve reading. They are a tracking devise. Keeping timed reading logs is just a "skim the surface tool" that makes it appear that students are engaged in reading, but how do you really know?

Response to what is read goes much deeper than just amount of time spent reading.

Perhaps the staff at your school can brainstorm and/or investigate other ways to hold students accountable for sustained silent reading on their own time and their depth of understanding of what they read. There are a lot of other ways to hold students accountable for their reading like book talks, 5 min.buddy talks-bring in something you read and share it with a buddy, writing up a quick snapshot of what has been read WHEN you finish the book (not for every 20 min. spent reading (because, really, who does that in real life?) digital journals/wiki's for rating and recommending books, etc.

I hope you post back about what your principal and faculty decide.
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I don't think I made my point well
Old 07-14-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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I did not mean to imply that I don't encourage a love of reading - I do, and I consistently have the top readers in the school in my class. I do everything I can to make the children want to read and love it.

That being said, I think we worry so much about making them all love to read that we need to be careful to make those that don't not feel like they've failed. I've seen many good students who feel like they're not smart because they don't love to read. While I encourage reading, I want everyone to feel like they can be successful in their own way, whether they are avid readers or not.
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Thank you for your active reading questions!
Old 07-15-2012, 05:51 AM
 
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I will be teaching language arts for the first time and was wondering how I could put a spin on reading logs! After observing my homerooms missing tasks sheet, most of missing items in their language arts class were from not turning in reading logs. Our school encourages Read 20/20-Read 20 pages or 20 minutes and I believe your questions (including having a choice) will help with their accountability as well as increasing their understanding or comprehension.

Thanks again!
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Reading Logs
Old 07-15-2012, 06:30 AM
 
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Thanks for the great ideas!
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Thanks
Old 07-16-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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Thank you for posting the questions for nightly reading. I was condsiderning reading logs until I read how much people hated them on PT! I always did reading logs with my own kids, before I was a teacher. My older daughter started a reading log in Head Start. Then in public school they both had logs all the way through 6 th grade. We didn't lie. They accepted the consequences of not reading. They both still love to read and I think the nightly reading through elementary school really helped. But.... I can see how for some it is not the best thing and I have enough parents that lie about their kid's work I don't want to add another thing. I think the questions will help me know if they are reading.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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Mrs. Pic., great resources. Thanks so much for sharing them with us.
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