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la44utk la44utk is offline
 
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I'm ditching reading logs...
Old 07-17-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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anyone else? It was just an excuse in my classroom for students to lie. It seems that the parents would sign them regardless. I even found one in a student's binder this year that was blank that the parent had already signed! So, I'm trying a year without them. We shall see...


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Old 07-17-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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I was thinking about doing the same thing. Parents signed it even if their kid didn't read or the parent wouldn't sign it and the kid did read. What are you going to do instead though? I am not sure what I will be doing and looking for ideas.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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I wish I could. We have 100 Book Challenge. Most students don't even log steps at home.(1 step=15 minutes)But, there are some who had supposedly "read" an hour or more before school daily. We finally have set only 2 steps max per day. But, same issues. One student told me her mom wrote the steps after she went to bed.(didn't read) I still had to turn her name in for a medal!!
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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what grade do you teach? my kids keep a weekly blog online with an analysis of what they read. Here's an example http://baileylevyssummerreadingblog.blogspot.com/
This is actually the blog they have to keep over the summer... just a thought...
The kids and I respond to each other's letters
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No more!
Old 07-17-2011, 01:13 PM
 
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I stopped using reading logs for the exact same reason! Parents just signed and kids just filled it out without reading anything.


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Old 07-17-2011, 01:13 PM
 
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I've decided to ditch them too! I spent more time reading the logs that my kids did reading. It got the point I dreaded taking them up on Fridays!
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me too
Old 07-17-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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I am ditching the reading logs this year. I am tired of chasing down the kids that don't turn them in or don't get them signed. Just more stress for me. This year I am going to do a build a turtle reading bb. Haven't finalized the turtle yet but I was thinking I would give them a piece of turtle for each 10 books they read. Some kind of summary - a few sentences will have to be turned in (I'm in 3rd). So with each new piece they have more and more turtle.
When they finish a turtle I will add it to the bb. haven't come up with a name yet......

hope that makes sense. we will see how it goes!
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I teach 5th...
Old 07-17-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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I'll be using their AR tests and response letters to verify reading. I've read The Book Whisperer and want to implement the 40 book challenge. I'm hoping for intrinsic motivation this year. Might be a stretch, but so over the way it's always been...
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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This year I plan to MAKE time for kids to read in class. I can't trust parents to be honest about the logs. While I was always mad at the kids who did not get their logs signed I finally realized that those were the honest ones. I will let parents know the difference the requirement of nightly reading makes in the span of their education but this is a responsibility the home is going to have to assume.
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I was thinking it
Old 07-17-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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but am glad that you posted it. Last year, I school did not do a school wide RAH Read at Home for the same before mentioned reasons. We are living in a society where reading is not FUNdamental. Its not fun its just the stuff the teacher keeps forcing me to do. Kids would rather be watching Disney and Nickledon. Parents already stuggle to get kids to do the bare basics for homework at night.

I am going to require reading logs becuase I am going to do my part in encouraging them to read. If they are not self motivated and are not motivated by their parents, I am still going to require it! We'll see how it goes this year.


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Also...
Old 07-17-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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I am going to MAKE time for in-class reading as well. This has been very hard for me because I teach in a departmentalized setting where I have 2 different groups of students for 90 minutes. In that time period, I'm expected to teach reading, grammar, spelling, English, and writing. And, did I mention that 5th grade is a writing assessment year for us here in TN?? So I've never been willing to 'give up' class time for independent reading. But, I'm going to commit myself to that this year and hope for the best.
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reading logs
Old 07-17-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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Reading Logs are just one more thing for me to TRY to keep track of! Kids and parents lie about it, lose it, and many don't seem to care about it. I am starting to feel the same about homework, too.
Sometimes I wonder if giving homework is worth the hassle...
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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la44utk - I teach middle school and your 5th graders are probably as techy as my kids are.
I too am going to implement the 40 books challange this year. I've found that the kids spend the better part of their free time at home on line and so I might as well use it to channel it into reading they keep their online blogs and I never have to collect and carry home 150 readers' journals again!!!!
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Shemesh...
Old 07-17-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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I like the idea, but all of my students don't have computers at home. We are phased at our school, and I teach the middle students. Having a computer at home is great for things like Study Island as well, but I can't ever assign class homework from there because all of my students don't have computers. I may look at it, though, and hope that all my students have access to a computer this year!

Thanks!
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Here's what I was thinking...
Old 07-17-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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I too read the Book Whisperer and am going to try the 40 book challenge. I am going to use what things I teach in class for them to find in their nightly reading. For example- If I teach nouns, I will have them write down 5 sentences or so and underline, circle, highlight, etc, the noun and tell if it represents a person, place, or thing, common, proper, etc. I will encourage them to use post-its so if they find a sentence they like while they are hopefully "engrossed" in their book and don't want to stop, then they can mark their pages. Also, I am going to have them write the title, author and page numbers they find their sentences. Maybe I will have them share with a small group the next day. I don't know, hopefully this will kill two birds with one stone.
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Haven't done reading
Old 07-17-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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logs in years for self-selected reading.
I have my students read a certain number of books of their choice with some requirements regarding different types of genre (we do genre bingo) and then they either do a book talk or fill out a reading snapshot.

The students are accountable, parents are off the hook, and I don't have to keep track.

Here's a link to one of last summer's reading log discussions.


http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=271850
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Not an option for me
Old 07-17-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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I wish I can do the same and ditch the reading logs, but unfortunately in my school it is the only way to make kids read
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Logs
Old 07-17-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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Our reading logs are just a record of the books they are reading, when the book was started, date it was finished, and then their AR score. It doesn't go home. I sign it when they take their test. We did the 40 book challenge this year with the genres. Once they took the AR test then they filled out their 40 book challenge page. It worked out very well. Many students were surprised at how many books they had read this year. Some found a new genre they liked. We have a set AR time every day for our students from 5th - 8th grade. The lower grades work it into their schedule.
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Thanks, Parker!
Old 07-17-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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Parker, I took a look at your previous posts and I think I'm going to do a modified version of your snapshot. I, too, have not had a lot of luck with reading logs. However, I have discovered that my struggling readers (and all readers really) want to get in on what everyone else is doing. I'm hoping that will be enough motivation for reading.

I have a lot of polka dot things going on in my room so I made a big circle that says "Good Book Spotting" and includes all the info I want students to give me in their snapshot. I think I'll start out with something more basic and we may change up the form or add to it as the year progresses. I also think it'll be neat to see where all the dots end up getting stuck in the room. Thanks again for this great idea! I love PT!
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don't use them
Old 07-17-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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I stopped using them a few years ago. Too many didn't have them signed and when they read in class too many forgot to fill it in even though in school I know they were reading. I also got tired of checking incomplete reading logs. My grade level had different rewards for reading a certain amount of books and when they got to the top they got to eat with p/ap, but it was the same ones over and over who didn't complete it so I let it go. Too many other things to worry about.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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I stopped doing reading minutes last year and it's wonderful. No more stress. I allow the kiddos to read 20 minutes in the classroom instead.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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I don't do reading logs. I want kids to read because they enjoy it, kind of like a hobby. As soon as we make it a requirement, then it takes the fun out of it. We have a 100 Book Club that they can chart the books they read for enjoyment. They get their pictures put on the wall if they can do it. We talk a lot about the only way to get better at something is to do it-alot. They start to pick up on that as they read more in class. When they see other kids getting their pictures taken the competition to get theirs taken automatically kicks in.
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no log
Old 07-17-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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After Hurricane Katrina, we couldn't give homework (including logs) because the kids were living in small campers, tents, etc... and it just wasn't feasible. That's when I quit doing reading logs (2005). Instead, we made sure we gave them time in class to read. We do 20 min. a day without fail.

That being said, there was no reason to do a log since I SAW them reading. Since it worked so well that year, we've done it that way ever since. One less thing to worry about for everyone!

I remember one year a parent said her son LOVED to read but was losing interest because he hated filling out the log - it was stressing him out to remember to write it all down. My dd said the same thing when I was talking to her about it - and she's a HUGE reader. That just confirmed it.

No more logs for me!!!!
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I must say...
Old 07-17-2011, 04:57 PM
 
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that after reading the Book Whisperer I'm ditching reading logs this year too. I've had similar experiences to those posted above and sometimes I had students turn them in without parent signatures even though this got them one letter grade lower (yes, I used to grade the log as part of Reading because reading outside the classroom helps them with overall reading achievement).

Even though the reading log encouraged some students to read, it didn't for others and at times it turned into a chore. Again, reading the Book Whisperer helped me to realize that the reading log just didn't inspire life long readers. I want my students to read because they enjoy it, not because it's another dreaded homework assignment they have to complete.

So...I will not use a reading log in my class. Instead, I will introduce the 40 book challenge to the students and have them keep a book log that they fill out in class where they will write the reading start date, title, author, genre, and a column for reading end date (when they finish reading the book). I will monitor this list and conference with students about their progress with reading a variety of books. Students will also write one reader response letter in class a week in their Reader's Notebook addressed to me to help me with their one-on-one conferences.

Thanks for your post! I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one saying buh-bye to the reading log.
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More about Book Whisperer?
Old 07-17-2011, 05:24 PM
 
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Okay...so I read Daily 5 last summer and I was all for it and bought the chimes and everything...I did all the lessons and took it one bit # a time...but the predictable behaviors I have found in first graders is that they are going to pick what they want to do based on their friends...and a lot of it was wonderful but some of it was just not do-able in my classroom...(Sorry for that incredibly long sentence.) So! Is the Book Whisperer worth reading? And does it have some insightful, do-able stuff in it? Does it get back to common sense which is what I am ready to get back to. And I want to get into more authentic assessing and such. I have not read a professional book yet this summer, so I was wondering if this was a good read. I need some inspiration, here.
I do a Read and Respond sheet. It is sent home in their folder on Monday. They are supposed to read for 20 minutes and then write a sentence or two about what they have read. Some of the kids do a really good job with this and some of the parents do a really crappy job fostering this assignment. They write it for their child, because "they fell asleep." Or they let them make up a sentence...OR they let their child write a crappy sentence like " I like dogs." So I am asking out loud, " Is it worth it because some do it right?" and..." How do I reach the kids who do not have any support at home? " The other two teachers only have the parents write the name of the book down on a log. But my purpose for this read and response sheet is reflection of what they have read, sentence writing, and comprehension. I am either going to do it the way I have been doing it or not at all. I am not going to go to just listing the book. But I wish there was a way to enhance what I am already doing..Like tweaking it to make it better. What do ya'll think?
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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I quit using them too. In addition to them being one more thing to track, I actually had parents filling them out in front of me right before school.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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I stopped last year also and there is no way I'm ever going back to this ridiculous system. I use the daily 5 in my first grade classroom and I see my kids reading. I had the best end of the year assessment scores this past year than I've ever had before and I've been teaching 16 years! When I told my parents at Back to School that I was stopping this system they gave me a round of applause!
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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I like them and will keep doing them in class;reason being I want them to write about their reading and the concentrate on strategy work. Writing about what they read takes on many forms as the thinking changes while one reads.Kids can look like they are reading and actually what they are doing is running their eyes across marks on a page.I see nothing wrong with expecting kids to write about their thinking during and after they read.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:15 PM
 
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I would highly recommend reading The Book Whisperer. She shares a lot of common sense ideas on how to inspire life long readers. The book was really inspiring. Check it out. There have also been a lot of posts from teachers who have read it and reread it. It is definitely worth reading if you want to try out ways to inspire reading in all students in your classroom.
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I've never used them...
Old 07-17-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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I teach third and my district does not require reading logs. We do use reading logs in class and we still use AR. Part of my student accountability is monitored through AR. However, I use a simple notation system in student agendas...at the end of our reading time each day, I take about 5 minutes to write down the page number that each student is on. I can easily spot check as I go around the following day. My kids are relaxed about it, they know I'll conference with them if they don't appear to be making good progress and I don't have more papers to check each week!

It also gives parents an idea (for those who care and keep up with it) of where they are in their books each night. We do ask students to read for 20 minutes at home, but I know many of them don't...
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More on Reading
Old 07-17-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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I also want to emphasize that I will be providing time for my students during school to independently read books of their choice. I will also play an active role in recommending books to students based on their interests. This is all from the recommendations made in The Book Whisperer. In addition, if students are excited about the books they are reading, they will still read at home without the thought of filling out a log for homework hovering over their heads.

Additionally, writing is still tied to the reading they are doing since I will have them write a reader response letter addressed to me so they can tell me about what they are reading, what strategies they've used, noticed, etc. This again, is done during class time and I will use it when I meet with individual students.
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reading logs
Old 07-18-2011, 01:58 AM
 
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Reading logs are mainly to teach kids to track their own reading volume and make plans and set goals. If the teacher teaches it this way and models it with his or her own reading, kids learn to use reading statistics to navigate their own reading lives. Like the title says, it's an independent reading logs. don't put the burden on the parents!
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reading logs
Old 07-18-2011, 05:15 AM
 
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I am so glad someone posted this. Starting this year, I am no longer requiring reading logs.
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Ditto!
Old 07-18-2011, 05:54 AM
 
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I have been teaching 2nd grade for 10 years and have done a variety of reading logs. I too have noticed that many parents fill them out for their child, or the child does them just to complete them (boring, dry, and dull responses were the norm). I have learned that the response sheets need to be more of a tracking log then an indepth summary of what the student read. Title, Author, Pages Read, and date (or something very similiar to these headings) will be the extent of the log; it will be a means to record and track the students' reading history!
I TOO LOVED AND WAS INSPIRED by the Book Whisper; I love her idea of Book Commercials!
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Me Too!
Old 07-18-2011, 06:02 AM
 
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I teach 2nd at a private school and even there, so many reading logs came in unsigned, signed but with no reading listed, completely blank, etc...

This fall I'm think of doing a "reading response journal" where they have to write 3 sentences for every 10-20 minutes of reading. I'm going to include questions they can answer, ways to summarize, etc.. so that will help them come up with the 3 sentences. But I may abandon it all together as we do 20 minutes of SSR daily in class so perhaps I should just let them read at will at home?
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Have done logs
Old 07-18-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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for many years and agree the purpose is to track reading, self evaluate and make goals. My kids reflect on logs at least once a quarter and set goals accordingly. I may do this twice a quarter this ear. Parents do not sign them... mine are two sided. One side is for home reading and the other for school reading. The kids highlight titles when they finish a book. This year I am adding a place to note the genre... My kids also note books they abandon with a circled "A." They do not include any responses but I do have a place for comments. Sometimes the kids rate books, sometimes I write a brief comment like "if you liked this book you might like..." or "I see you haven't finished any books lately. Want some help choosing?" I actually grade the logs because one of our standards is reads independently for 20-30 minutes. On the school side the kids count number of pages read. On the home side they document number of minutes read. I have mixed feelings but believe the record of reading can be powerful.
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Reading logs
Old 07-18-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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I wish I could ditch them, but they are required at my school. The kids even have to fill them out on the weekends and over holiday breaks The thing I hate most of all is grading them!
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Reading Logs
Old 07-18-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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This post was very interesting to me!! Wow! I require 20+ minutes of at home reading and recording consists of a simple monthly reading log (date, title, minute, signature). I don't give much homework (in my opinion) so I really stress this at-home reading. However, I've noticed that many students are NOT filling in the logs on a daily basis even though I stress these and reward those who do. I don't think I want to stray away from this concept but I'm just not sure what else to do for reading homework.

For those of you who are ditching reading logs completely for homework, what reading homework will you require??? My students do a lot of reading in class (Daily 5) but the problem is they are not reading at home. Help!!!!
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I will still require...
Old 07-18-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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20 minutes daily of reading at home. Like you say, many just don't fill out the log. I just am stopping because in my experience, many students/parents lie just to get this piece of paper filled out. I will monitor where they are in class and make sure that they are making progress with their books. I require 4 books to be read per nine weeks in order to get an A on AR. While I know ditching reading logs may not be the answer, I know for me that it had just become too much of a hassle and many kids were just 'putting down whatever' in order to turn it in for credit. I am going to require a weekly response letter telling me what is going on in their book. We'll see how it goes!
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Reading Homework
Old 07-18-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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I will still ask my students to read at home for 30 minutes as mandated by our district but I will not require for them to fill out the log. I will continue to monitor their reading through the Book Log they complete in class and their Reader Response Journals.
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Reading Homework
Old 07-18-2011, 10:23 PM
 
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I require my students to read for 20 minutes nightly and I do not assign a reading log. They should have 10 minutes to spend on other homework, which makes up the 30 minutes of nightly homework. Majority of my students read far beyond 20 minutes.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Could you please share what you form you use for the 40 book challenge and the conferencing form you use? Do you have specific questions you ask?
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Reading Journal prizes!
Old 07-19-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Another good read in addition to The Book Whisperer is:
Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers, (Steven Layne)

which can be read online at Stenhouse.com

I like his approach to keeping a reading log. Once a week he has his kids write down EVERYTHING they've read during that week (books, magazines, comics, directions, road signs, etc.). He celebrates how much they've read and occasionally he even gives prizes for the most unusual things read!


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Igniting a Passion for Reading
Old 07-19-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Thank you tangolily for your recommendation. I'm going to check the book out. It sounds like the reading log mentioned in that book is similar to the one the Book Whisperer uses with her students. She just has students write down the books they read during the week too. The log is filled during class time and she doesn't have kids complete one for homework. I like how the author of Igniting a Passion for Reading celebrates at the end of the week the student's accomplishments. Would love to incorporate that as well.
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Thank You!
Old 12-06-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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To students with learning disabilities, and those who don't, reading logs are cruel. They are because even if students do or might love reading, they can't enjoy it. They have to keep track of things happening in the book and be aware of the time, so they just can't lose themselves to a book and be happy. Then, when the students finish, they have to remember those things and write them all down, Which takes me forever because it is REALLY hard for me to organize my thoughts.
And if they don't write it, they get terrible grades and everyone thinks they're stupid even if they read a whole Harry Potter book in one night. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS
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