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julesb julesb is offline
 
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Reading Log Help
Old 06-30-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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I taught 4th grade for the last two years. Last year, I required my students to complete a reading log each week. They were required to read 15 minutes each night and they had 1 free night. I know that many of my students would not have read at all if I had not required the reading logs. But, most of my students HATEd the reading logs. BUT, I know that my students read more because I required this. Then again, to be honest, some of my students hardly ever turned the logs in. I am moving up to teach 5th grade this year so I will be teaching a lot of the same students. When one of my students found out that she could have me again she said," awww man." I asked her, "You don't want me again next year?" She said, "yes, I love you as my teacher but I don't want to have to do the reading logs." I am looking for ways to motivate them to do their reading logs and/or other suggestions and ways for getting them to read at home at night. I want them to be excited about reading and wanting to read. I would hate to cause them to hate to read because of the logs. I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions


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reading logs
Old 07-01-2007, 04:26 AM
 
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You know, I've been pondering this same question this summer. My son (who was in 3rd grade) and I (teach 5th grade) both had reading log experiences last year and neither of them were great. I required my students to read 45 minutes a week--didn't matter when they read, they just had to do the reading and have their parents sign it. My son's class had to read 15 minutes a night--every night--and we (parents) had to sign off. My son is a voracious reader--absolutely LOVES to read--and reads every night, so I really thought reading logs were going to be no big deal for him, right? Wrong! Before he was required to read 15 min. a night, he would read for an hour before bedtime. With the 15 min. requirement, he set a timer for 15 minutes and read until the timer went off! When it buzzed, he'd say, "Whew! Glad I'm finally done with homework!" and off he'd go. It was heartbreaking. As far as my 5th graders went, I have a strong suspicion that many of them didn't actually do the reading they listed. I'm beginning to think that if I do my job well (exposing them to great literature and helping them to become better readers), reading for pleasure will be a natural consequence--I'm not convinced it's something we can force. I'm dropping the reading logs.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:39 AM
 
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This is one of the reasons I dropped my "home" reading log in the middle of last year! Instead I have a log that each child keeps in his/her desk. At the end of the day, we have 15-20 min. of silent reading - they take out their logs and write down the book title, page starting and page ending. I can monitor the kids this way, and it helps them wind down at the end of the day. Although I teach 3rd grade now, I've taught 5th before and I would use this same method if I were still teaching 5th.

I actually have kids beg me to take their book home so they can finish reading it that night! That tells me they're getting motivated. By the way, I only let them read during this time - they aren't allowed to look for a book then - they have to do that in the mornings. That prevents movement and delays.
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reading logs
Old 07-02-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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Hey guys! Thanks for your help and imput. I do know this. The ones that are going to do it do it and the ones that aren't don't. Last year, my reading class consisted of the lower struggling readers. This year, I will have mixed groups that consist of all reading levels. I would just hate to cause the ones that like to read to hate it. Part of me wants to do away with the logs but part of me wants to keep them. Right now, I am trying to think of a way that benefits the students. I want to hold them accountable for reading at home, not just at school. The more they read, the more they will improve as readers. I'm still not sure what to do.

Last edited by julesb; 07-02-2007 at 03:41 PM..
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Reading Incentive Programs
Old 07-04-2007, 07:02 AM
 
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Besides the regular reading log that I have students work on, we do the "Book-It" program sponsored by Pizza Hut between October and March. If you have not signed up for this program and would like to get your school involved, you can go to www.bookitprogram.com and they will send you the information you need to get started. I have found that even though it is a little more paperwork, the students actually DO the reading because they can read what they want OUTSIDE of school and write it down on a book log. In return, at the end of the month, they get a certificate for a personal pan pizzza from Pizza Hut! They LOVE it! Let me know what you think!


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Thank you Suecat
Old 07-04-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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I forgot about that. I actually did use "Book-It" last year. I told the students how many books they had to read by the end of the month. If they read the required amount, they got a certificate. I think that in order for that to work better for me, I might need to get the kids pumped and excited about it more. I tried so many things to get those kids excited about reading. Thank you for reminding me about the Book-it program. I am going to use it again this year!
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Class Party
Old 07-06-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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It is very hard to get some kids to read! Our team came up with the idea to have a class party for the class that had the highest number of reading logs signed each month. We gave them a popcorn party, or sugar-free ice pops for the party. It worked pretty well. We just had to pump them up to do it, but of course we had some kids that would never turn in their reading log.
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I'm guilty... I use a reading log!
Old 07-08-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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I have used a reading log every year for the last 8. I work at a title one school so 80% of my students are reading below grade level. A at home log is the only way I know they are getting in at least some reading. This year moving to 5th grade I knew I had to do things a little different. I incorporated their reading log with their monthly book report (I got the idea from Mrs. Renz website http://www.redmond.k12.or.us/mccall/renz/). Although they are to fill it out each night and parents sign saying they have read I still add the actual completed log as part of their final grade. Yes, I know they can just add minutes to say they are done but having it with their book report allows me to know they are actually reading. Each book report is a fun way to represent the books and my students loved it. Each month was a different genre study and book reports consisted of building a skeleton, making a game board, creating a sandwich (which was far more creative then i was), scrapbook a page, make a website for their book, etc. I donít know if this is helpful to ya but it works for me. Oh, and my whole grade level did the book reports so it was fun to share them across the classes.... especially our wax museum.
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no more reading logs
Old 07-09-2007, 03:37 AM
 
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I had a similar experience. My school does a "meet next year's teachers" event. During the event I asked the incoming students if they had any questions. One of the only questions I was asked was "Will we have to do a reading log?" When I said, "no," the group cheered!

When I required logs last year, I really felt like I got many forged parent signatures. I also suspected that, too many 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 a grade on the students percent of goal reached and test average. Other teachers in my school are doing this, as does Laura Candler.
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Read Across America
Old 07-16-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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I have always used reading logs, but now after reading all of these posts, I don't know if I will continue to use them. A motivating competition, "Read Across America," helped my students to read religiously! Students can earn a mile for every page they read. The miles get calculated after a chapter book is completed. They keep track on a library card. The students started at Nevada and had a goal of reaching Washington D.C. They could research different routes from state to state. To "prove" they actually read the book, they had to complete a book review/evaluation. The first three students to reach DC got a prize and if the whole class reached the goal-PARTY TIME! The only down side is grading the book reviews. But, you could think of a quicker tool; such as a book cube, character flip charts, mini-booklet w/narrative elements, etc. Hope this helps!!


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Re: Reading Log Help
Old 08-13-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I also dropped the signed reading log several years ago for the same reasons as previously listed. I was given a Read Across America program that was very motivating. Each state is assigned a genre of reading (i.e. read 60 minutes of poetry, read a realistic fiction book, read through a cookbook, etc.) and then an activity to complete (compare two of the main characters, read your favorite poem to the class, etc.) Students must complete an activity a week. Some of the requirements that are a little longer can be in progress one week and then completed the next. Our students love this. We have a party at the end of the year for students who complete all 50 reading activities. Parents must sign the completed page where the assignment is completed.
We also have a bulletin board that the kids put a pushpin in the state when they complete the state. All their work is checked by me and then kept in a folder. They color in the state completed on a US map. It's really fun for the kids and easy to manage by me.
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Reading logs
Old 06-04-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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Hi, I have taught 3rd grade for 6 years now and every year I require the students to complete a reading log each week also. This year I had them also complete a general book report on the back of the reading log. I, too, struggle with getting the reading logs back and when I do, I know that most of them just have their parents sign without reading. Next year I am teaching 5th grade with students who may have had me in 3rd grade, instead of having them complete a reading log each week I may just require a book report every two weeks. I have created a book genre bingo card that they will need to choose books from different genres. I will also have different types of book reports they can do, for example, diaramas, story cubes/maps, create an advertisement for the book to get others to read it, if 2 kids read the same book they may act out a scene for another small group, the possiblities are endless. This may get the ones who don't normally read because they don't want to do the paper and pencil book reports, reading. And isn't that what it is all about? I hope this helps... as it is just an idea for me too.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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I totally agree with you! i have been teaching for 4 years and the teacher who i am working for who got fired said her kids LOVED the reading logs!
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:33 AM
 
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Do you have the information for that Read Across America program? It sounds perfect for my kids.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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I'm of two minds on reading logs as well.

As far as educational philosophy goes, I wish we could do reading conferences instead - just sit down with each child to talk about what he or she is reading outside of school, suggest books, and really encourage, without having to track minutes or pages. (This would of course be great in the fantasy world where we actually have that kind of time and all the kids want to please us!)

But as a parent, I do appreciate reading logs. My own son struggled with reading at first and and ended up "not liking it". I knew the more he read, the easier it would get for him - but of course, that logic coming from mom tends to be ignored. When it was a homework assignment, though, it was just something to be done. It removed me from the "bad guy" role, so he could ask me for help instead, and lo and behold, it did get easier. (He even has a series or two now that he admits to actually liking. )

So I guess it really depends on the class, and the individual kids. A few of other ideas I've heard are -

Contests - compete with the room next door to see who can read more.

Book reviews - letting kids post their book recommendations on a special bulletin board, or share them out loud at certain times.

Read-ins as a kick-off to the logs - letting the kids bring in their books and a beach towel to sit outside and read.

Book auctions (if you have some sort of class economy) - start an exciting book at read-aloud time, and then auction off the right to be the first one to take it home and find out the ending.
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