I have struggled with this for years....how much is too much/too little with regards to having 3rd graders respond to their reading....whether before (recording predictions, etc.), during (sticky notes in text to mark connections, etc.), or after (letter to me, etc.).
I am reading Nanci Atwell's Reading Zone and she feels it is important for kids to get 'into the zone' and spend that full 20-30 min. reading...not be interrupted with having to record/mark connections, vocab, etc. She does have her students (middle school) write weekly letters, which are pretty deep!
So...I'm looking for as many answers as I can get....and maybe I can find that happy medium.
What do you have your 3rd graders do as a response to their independent reading...
How often? (Daily? Weekly?)
If you could attach what you use, that would be greatly appreciated, as well!!!!
This is really bothering me, so any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
This is a struggle for me, too. Beth Newingham recently revamped her reading binders to include a response section. I think I'm going to try it. It is flexible because it has 3 different ways for kids to respond.
I think that in the past I have asked to much of my students in regards to response. The reason for this is primarily for accountability. How else can I be sure they're reading??
I think this year I'm going to lean a little more on drop in conferences to be sure kids are really reading and making progress with their reading. I know they still need to respond, but I'm not planning to ask for the kinds of lengthy responses I asked for last year. What I found was that my struggling readers really weren't giving good responses anyway. (Froggy is the main character of this book and I think this is a very funny book. Got to go!) and my kids who WERE great readers were frustrated because they didn't have the time they wanted to just get lost in their book.
I agree with everyone - it is hard to find a balance, and I feel like I change what I do every year!
One thing I tried last year was The Daily Five and the CAFE book. They suggest doing 5 "dailies" (though, some get reduced in 3rd grade), and those are: read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, work on writing, and word work. I added one of my own: write about reading. But since it was impossible to have my kids do all of these every day, there were certain they had to do every day, or multiple times a week. Write about Reading they had to do once a week. It worked for me, but I'm also going to try some new things.
This summer, I am in a book study of the book Notebook Connections by Aimee Buckner http://www.amazon.com/Notebook-Conne...8462620&sr=1-1. I haven't read it yet, but I have heard GREAT things about it, and I am hopeful it will help me come up with something better for my 3rd graders next year.
I am in the same boat as you! I went to a conference and really liked what the presenter does with her students. While students are reading they mark their thinking with post it notes. Then after they have time to read, they go back and write in their journal about the spots they marked. Students don't write on the post it notes, they are just used as markers. I am trying this is summer school and so far it is amazing. Students like the idea that they don't have to do certain responses that they get to do their own thinking. I was worried students would only do summaries or the same responses over and over, but I am seeing with each response students are predicting, inferring, wondering, questioning the author. I did have to model this a lot, but students caught on really fast. I know in the school year I will have a few who will need more guidance, but so far it is working.
I think I am going to have a reading response notebook set up in these sections
1.) My thinking-----post it notes responses
2.) Powerful Vocabulary-------an ABC chart in front where students fill in interesting vocabulary they find. Also this will be the second students write notes from our word work, like expanding our vocabulary from boring words to exciting words.
3.) Constructed Responses to Reading-----In guided reading groups/strategy groups, students will be given a question to respond to.
4.) CAFE Menu----instead of having a big CAFE Wall in my classroom, each student will have their own menu in the back of their reading journal that they can add their strategies to.
Any suggestions/questions, would be greatly appreciated. This will be my first year trying this out.
I think we've all been guilty one time or another of burdening our students with too much required writing as they read. It takes away the joy they can find in just losing themselves in a book, and THAT should be the whole point, I think. With all the vocab, spelling, writing, word searches, etc. we might as well just be making them do workbook pages.
I, too, want to sort of "back off" all the accountability razz-ma-tazz and just let them read. If they know they have to respond - say, twice in a week rather than every single day, maybe they will actually come to love the experience of reading. Drop-in conferences when they least expect it might help us as teachers feel better about giving them the freedom to just plain old READ!
One more thing. Long ago we teachers used to get to read at the same time as our students. We modeled reading, thinking, etc. Now it seems as if we have small groups, pull outs, testing, etc and that kids MAY not EVER get to see an adult just sit back and read.
This weekly writing assignment sounds like a good idea. I didn't like the 5 x per week writing homework responses. I didn't think it was fair to the students that I didn't read them as much as I would have liked and quite frankly I think once per week is manageable compared to daily. Plus, I would be able to give more feedback with this type of response. =)
Going to definitely pick up this book! Don't think the library has it so off to Barnes & Noble I go!
Are you using a composition book or some other notebook for your reader's response journal? I like your idea of the individual CAFE Menu in their book, but I wonder if it might not be a good idea to maintain the Wall in the classroom too so that kids can see who else is working on the same strategy? Not having tried to implement CAFE before, I don't know if this even logical. Obviously, the Wall makes it a good visual for me when pulling groups.
I had my kids respond after reading daily. I have attached a page that I have used. I ended up putting lines in it by mid year because they get sloppy in their writing - I just cut up writing paper, taped it on and copied it.
I gave them bookmarks with strategies and thinking ideas that they keep in their book box, I give them the partner discussion page from Newingham's site, and I remind them about skills we are working on. I don't have a specific rubric because I base it on what I know each kid can do. Each day is worth 5 points and this adds up over the marking period. They can respond at the end of reading - I give a 5 minute warning (we do Daily 5 with 3 rounds) so if they are working on something they can wrap up - the warning comes in the form of music so I'm not yelling across a room. I do require them to choose writing as well as independent reading so I encourage them to spend a couple of minutes and do it then (we do a separate writing time as well). They do have the option of putting sticky notes they have in their response folder so if they've recorded something they can use that rather than writing it twice. Sometimes there's a layer of notes because they jotted things down in a couple of places, and that's fine with me. Sometimes if we are looking at something, say nouns, adverbs, etc. I have them use their response folder for jotting some of those down.
I have them record the genre, just so we can discuss what their reading, if their absent they write that in, if we are gone out of the room they write what it is. I won't go back and check attendance, so they have to do it or they don't get the points. I know it sounds harsh, but they need to be responsible for that. The pages gets questionable, they forget this a lot. We discuss thinking about where you start, if you read 2 chapters write that down, if it's a picture book often there are no page numbers so then it's not required. On Friday I have them write something they noticed about their reading and a goal, I have a set time for this.
On the whole it worked, can't say I was always super excited about it, but this is what I came up with to meet my needs at the time.
I plan to just use a notebook that I divide into the different groups. I am running into the problem with the fire marshal that I can't put up a lot of paper in my room. The CAFE wall usually takes up a lot of space and I have learned not all students need all the strategies. I teach a few as a whole group, but mostly I teach CAFE through my small groups. I only plan on having students write in the notebook once a week for the my thinking and then once in awhile for the constructed responses to book part.
So this past year I encouraged them to make a quick note about their daily reading, but only required one reading letter a week. On Fridays I gave them 15 minutes to write me a two paragraph letter. The first paragraph was a summary of what they read and the second paragraph was where they shared their thinking about what they read. Some weeks (only a few really) I told them to focus on a particular strategy, but most weeks it was a chance to really get inside their thinking. I always responded and the time it took in class for them to write was minimal, but gave me great insight.
I have a great deal to learn, revise, create in a very short time.The entries and supportive hyperlinks are helping me tremendously! I have read Muggie Maggie and we are working on 7x9= trouble. I have requested many of the other titles at my local library and can't wait to use them for Read Alouds However, I have a real quick question for you-remember, I am a 1st year teacher.. What is CAFE or an individualized CAFE menu? Be very specific and detailed
Super Fudge- Check out www.the2sisters.com CAFE and Daily 5 are books that they wrote. It is a lot of information to type out. The Peony Room on here is devoted to CAFE and Daily 5. There are also two groups that have been created.
At the end of independent reading time each day, I simply have students open their reader's notebooks to a section I call "My Thinking" and they have to jot down something they were thinking about as a reader during reader's workshop that day. Then I call on a few students to share their thinking...it is amazing to see what students do on their own. The writing and sharing takes about 5 minutes or so.
In previous years, I've had each student keep a reading response notebook and in the notebook, each student has a "Possible Responses" sheet glued on the inside cover. On the "Possible Responses" sheet I list some examples of the ways students can respond to their reading. This helps early in the year especially for those readers who have a difficult time with formulating thoughts about their books/characters etc. As the year goes on, the students slowly but surely begin using their own thinking and rarely use the chart which is great! My requirements were they had to write in it at least for the last 5 minutes of RW, but they were to do it "fast and furious" and elaborate on their thoughts if they choose for homework. The transported this notebook from home and school so they always had it with them.
This year I plan to use it in a similar way. The only difference is I decided to have them stop and jot on post its as they normally do, but instead of leaving the post its in their books, they should put the post it inside their reading response notebook at the top of the page. They are to later, elaborate on the thought on the post it, to keep track of their thinking so that it doesnt get lost. Many times, Iwould see kids throw post its away after they finished the book, but didnt do anything else with the smart thoughts they had. This way, he/she can look back at their thinking and I can use this as a quick assessment tool to make sure they are comprehending what they read. Beth's Newinghams reading notebooks was a model for me, the only difference is I will use the notebook for them keep track of post its instead of a sheet in a binder.
Hope it goes well. This just makes more sense to me as a teacher and it should make conferences run smoother when they can go back with ease.