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OMG! Do parents hate reading logs and HW?
Old 07-05-2012, 11:46 PM
 
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I have been reading parent reactions to homework and reading logs online and many of them are down right angry! I had no idea especially about the reading logs. I spend so much time making my reading log colorful with helpful info..I really thought I was doing a great job. I put all of my sheets together in one log to be used for the entire year. Honestly, I don't get many students completing them . If I assign too little hw parents complain...too much...same thing.

TO ALL TEACHERS/PARENTS:

1. How do you feel about reading logs?

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...

Thanks...Gaven


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Old 07-06-2012, 12:36 AM
 
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Quote:
1. How do you feel about reading logs?
I hate them with a passion.

Quote:
2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?
If you do send home a log, how will you know if students are reading at home? Parents and students lie. You discuss the book with the students. You have them write about the book. You have them do book talks. Etc.

Quote:
3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw calendars...
At the elementary level, homework should be for reinforcement of already understood concepts (example, a short math practice page to review a skill). It should not be for learning something new. It should never be graded for an official score.
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I don't like them
Old 07-06-2012, 03:38 AM
 
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After trying all different kinds over the past 20 years, I've come to the same conclusion as "The Book Whisperer." They don't work. They do nothing to build intrinsic motivation to become a lifelong reader, and that is my goal. This year I am going to do a book challenge instead (eg. read 100 books over the school year.)

HW is good for practicing learned skills or to review word patterns or math facts. 10 minutes per grade level- that's enough. Nightly reading is a district requirement, which is why we've done reading logs. I think I need to present my reading challenge as a different type of log.
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Yes, they hate reading logs
Old 07-06-2012, 03:45 AM
 
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and so do I as a teacher. Parents lie about signing it, making the kids collaborators in the issue. I hate checking them, keeping track of them, etc. It was not time well spent and I no longer require reading logs.

We do reading genre bingo in my classroom each quarter to make sure students are reading a variety of books. I have students use a least one book for a book talk presented to the class once each quarter. Students keep track of pages read and the names of books, articles, etc. read in their language arts notebook, so I can do a quick check on how much they are reading. But no reading logs.

The rest of the time I have them fill out a reading snapshot or summary of the book.

Here is an old thread where we discussed reading logs before and I attached many of my reading snapshot forms and described how I used them.

Right now, I am in the process of revising the snapshots to align with 5th grade common core standards. If you read through the whole thread, you'll see how it works. And there are some other good ideas on the thread, too.

http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=334615


If anyone wants the revised snapshots, bookmark this thread and I'll post them in a day or so. I think I have most of them done, at least in rough draft form. They are in word format, so you can change up anything you wish.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:54 AM
 
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I dislike reading logs and EXCESSIVE homework. I understand that children need reinforcement of skills and homework is excellent for this; however, too much homework takes away from family time and after school activities. In addition to this, many parents do not get home from work until six so the time spent with their children is extremely limited. I know, in a perfect world there would be stay at home mothers who would be able to spend unlimited time working with their children on their homework and reading logs. Unfortunately, that is not reality in 2012.


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Old 07-06-2012, 04:12 AM
 
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1. How do you feel about reading logs?

As a parent, they took some of the pressure off me to "make" my child read. He really didn't enjoy it for a long time, but he needed to do it in order to get better, and if it was assigned by his teacher instead of me, I wasn't the bad guy. The best ones for him were the ones where some sort of competition was attached.

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?

In a perfect world, we would have time to meet one-on-one with each student every week, to talk about what they've been reading, really get to know what they like, and recommend books we think would be great for them.

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw calendars...

I believe in a little homework, but think there is too much. Kids need family time and time to play outside as well. I think a small weekly packet is the best.
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reading logs oooo my
Old 07-06-2012, 04:27 AM
 
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TO ALL TEACHERS/PARENTS:

1. How do you feel about reading logs?
Last year I left reading logs up to my aide in my classroom. She is a full time classroom aide. I personally think they can turn into a joke. Parents just do them because they feel like they have to. If a parent is going to read with a child they will do it because they want to. At the same time I think with the younger grades we really have to lay it out there that reading must be done at home if your child is going to be a successful reader.

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?

When we send home baggie books we send one individual book home AND one classroom book(something off reading a to z or something) the whole class book we discuss and do a whole group read aloud! I can listen and tell if they have never seen it

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...

I do a monthly homework calendar with some fun things for the family in it and other educational things They are required to do two a week. I don't grade them but I have a sticker chart they earn stickers for trying/completing!
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My thoughts
Old 07-06-2012, 04:37 AM
 
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I tried a reading log and homework packet, but discontinued both after a couple of months. Kids who wanted to read were reading anyway; those who didn't or couldn't for some reason weren't pushed to do so by the log. On the HW packet, I found that students dashed through the HW on the first night and didn't really focus on it. They didn't even see their own errors. In the case of spelling, that meant they learned the words incorrectly and never knew it. In both cases, keeping up with logs and HW packets was a hassle for me and my assistant. I won't use them again.
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HATE reading logs with a passion
Old 07-06-2012, 05:00 AM
 
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As a mom and a teacher. My daughters read constantly. I couldn't possibly keep track of how long nor would I want to. Reading for pleasure shouldn't be timed. My son, not much of a reader, but if I didn't sign that he read for 20 min. a night- it would effect his reading grade, so guess what...yes, I'm ashamed to admit it- if I saw him crack a book each night, I signed. If kids read, they don't need reading logs. If they don't, reading logs won't make them. When I taught 3rd and 4th, I didn't do them and some parents complained. For homework my students had nightly spelling and one other thing. Maybe a Math workbook page, or to work on a SS or Science topic. I felt homework should take less than an hour. I want those kids outside playing, or hanging with their family. I often wrote things like that on my homework board (go outside, hug your Mom, read to someone,build a fort...)
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Yes to your question.
Old 07-06-2012, 05:16 AM
 
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I hated reading logs and hw when I was not a teacher and hate them as a teacher.

Neither of my sons liked to read. Taking away privileges to force them to read did NOT make them like it any better. One son will now devour a book if he can get into it in the first chapter or so and it's been recommended to him. He is 19 now. My other son has reading disabilities, and before they were diagnosed, a substitute teacher chastised him for reading a baby book in the 4th grade - "The Boxcar Children." He was excited up to that point. After that he never touched another book.

As a single mom, that had my kids in after school care until the last minute, I did not want to spend my only two hours with them fitting hw in with baths, dinner, and family time when their bedtime was 8pm.


I hated logs and hw as a teacher in an affluent district- it was a waste of my time since most of the kids read anyways. Those that didn't, lied. I had 99% compliance with hw. Those that didn't do hw had every excuse from mom and dad.

I am in a poverty district now and these children struggle. Most have limited support at home due to circumstances beyond the kids' control. Parents have their own struggles, or a job, or don't even speak English. Some of our kids have responsibilities in the home to take care of siblings or grandparents.

My life is easier without logs or hw.


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hw
Old 07-06-2012, 05:30 AM
 
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TO ALL TEACHERS/PARENTS:

1. How do you feel about reading logs? I think they're unnecessary. A child/parent can fill it out without actually reading, so it doesn't prove anything.

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home? Their reading levels will go up! I always encourage reading at home, but I also make sure the kids get 15 minutes of silent reading in class - so at least they're getting that much daily.

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars... Homework should be practice from what they've done that day. It shouldn't be "busy work" or "cute" stuff (like word search puzzles which serve no academic purpose at all). Just a few problems on the recent skills. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes per grade level per day, but a maximum of 30 minutes - no matter the age (ie: a 6th grader shouldn't get 60 minutes of homework!). Kids need a break, too!

Honestly, after Huricane Katrina, we weren't allowed to give homework because kids were living in such awful conditions (small campers, tents, etc...), and we still scored really well at state tests! Yes, we dropped some, but not a huge amount like you would think. I think the drop had to do with the whole hurricane situation - not the lack of homework. I would consider doing away with it completely if my grade level wanted.

This is spoken from my standpoint of a teacher and a parent.
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Sucks the joy out of reading...
Old 07-06-2012, 05:46 AM
 
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Reading logs are similar to rewards for homework. It saps the joy out of doing things for the pure joy of doing them. This is why I hate required homework. I don't give it. If students don't finish their classwork, I give it to them for homework. Occasionally, they may have projects to work on at home. Other than that, I don't give anything else.

I stopped when my good students who LOVED reading started telling me they didn't have time last night because of church, housework, etc. When the A students start making excuses, you know it's time to give it up.

Last edited by NC5th; 07-06-2012 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:57 AM
 
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We are required to give logs and homework. I have had several parents tell me that they like the reading log because it makes them read with their kids and it gives them an excuse to make them read.
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my thoughts
Old 07-06-2012, 06:25 AM
 
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TO ALL TEACHERS/PARENTS:

1. How do you feel about reading logs? I loved them as a parent TWENTY TO THIRTY
years ago when parents were more motivated and I like that it wasn't just me encouraging/insisting my child read.
As a teacher, I stopped them about 8 years ago after so many emails to ask for a dispensation for Johnny, excuses for Susie and just being lied to. I hated that. It also came to realize that I would really resent someone asking me to log my recreational reading. It ceases to be recreational if required.

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?

You won't. I don't try to control or "punish" anything that is expected from home and I work for a high socio-economic district with "motivated" parents (that means motivated to keep intense pressure on the teachers, not themselves).

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...

I still did that and just rewarded kids for doing that. Some didn't, most did. I thought that quality home assignments were important, but I wasn't going to beat myself up if they weren't done. I think after a while, some parents might have thought I was indifferent. I was actually just beated down by the lazy/crazies.

If only parents cared about academics the way they do about their children's sports and extra activities!
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:41 AM
 
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The reading homework I send home is a log and a response to literature. The students fill out the name of the book/author and then they complete the written response. We don't grade homework, but the majority of my students' reading grades come from written responses to literature.

The students who are completing their homework (I have various questions listed each week) have had practice writing responses all week, so it improves the quality of the written responses they do in class. I pass it out on Monday and it's due on Friday so they have all week to get the four responses complete.

The students have math four nights a week, too, but the Study Links for math are a piece of cake and don't take much time at all. They have to study for word study or content, but the reading homework takes the most time 20 minutes to read and 10 minutes to write the response.

I never minded this as a parent because it was something my kids could do independently and the structure/routine made it easy.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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TO ALL TEACHERS/PARENTS:
I have to preface this by explaining that Boy just graduated from high school so my answers are based from 5-10 years ago.

1. How do you feel about reading logs?
I LOATHED them with a passion. Boy is a reader anyway, reading well above grade level, discussing books with a fair amount of sophistication from a fairly young age. When he had to write down on the reading log what he was reading he stopped reading. Having a reading log made him NOT read. Did I want that for my son? Absolutely not. I gave him permission not to write the reading log and fought that battle with a teacher who patronizingly said, "hmm, I so surprised...especially from a son of a teacher." I said, "if the point of reading logs is to make children read and Boy is NOT reading because of the reading log, then the reading log is pointless, right?" She grudgingly agreed.

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?
Someone else said that you'll know when their reading levels go up and forgive me for saying this but why is it any of your business if they're reading at home? Continue to send books home and the children will either read them or not. You can't MAKE them read at home.

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...
From my previous responses, I'm sure you can imagine how I feel about homework. For me, children's work is at school. I expect them to work their little fingers to the bone at school. I expect them to go home and tell their parents what they did at school, rest and get ready for tomorrow. I don't expect them to do MORE work at home. If they haven't finished what they've done today and they've just been fooling around, I MIGHT send it for homework but I don't really expect it will be done. I want children to like school, not hate it and I think asking them to do extra work at home when they've already put in a 5 or 6 hour day will make them hate school.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:59 AM
 
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Quote:
For me, children's work is at school. I expect them to work their little fingers to the bone at school. I expect them to go home and tell their parents what they did at school, rest and get ready for tomorrow. I don't expect them to do MORE work at home.
As teacher and parent, I agree 100% with GreenBunny. The homework my own children bring home is beyond ridiculous and has caused more stress in our household than anything else. As a teacher, I send what I have to (very little). As for reading logs..anther one of those useless things mandated by my principal...
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:02 AM
 
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As a teacher and parent of 3:

1. How do you feel about reading logs?

Hate them. I have been known to sign my kids' logs before they ever read just because that's when I can do it. I do check on them to be sure they read, and I trust two of my kids to be honest (and the third one isn't always honest, but reads nonstop, so she doesn't even log 1/3 of what she actually reads).

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?

Logs don't prove anything. People lie. I'm an honest person and I don't even watch my kids read and then sign after that! Give a reading response that has questions that require a child to have read at least some of the material (not just fact questions) and then judge how well they read by their responses.

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...

I HATE lots of homework. Homework has been such a stress in our family. I have had teachers send home brand new material and expect ME to teach it at home. WTF?? IF there is homework, it should be short review of previously learned concepts. Not busy work, not new material. My kid had a teacher one year who assigned them HOURS of making flashcards. Seriously?? They had to be colored, cut out, glued together, blah blah. My kid knew his math facts, and that is the only assignment I ever did FOR him. There was NO knowledge required to color and cut out hundreds of flash cards. She also sent home stuff requiring them to do math they had NEVER learned in the first place. Really? I had to teach my son at home stuff he should have been learning at school?
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:00 AM
 
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1. How do you feel about reading logs?
I have done these, but this year I am not going to bother with it. It it a library thing at my school. It will be one less thing I have to worry about this year. Our librarian is a real stickler to these reading log, so I will let her worry about it. It will still be in their data binders, because it has to be in there.

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?
I use guided reading in my classroom. Students are reading daily in class, writing chapter notes, discussing in small groups, etc. We also use AR, and I really like the program as I have had great success of students improving their variety of reading from this program (I know others would not agree, but I do like this program.) We test reading levels 3 times a year, so I also use this to know if they are improving in reading.

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...

I do not assign weekly packets (except when we are learning about states) or monthly homework calendars. My students are required to complete any work not finished in class. They are given plenty of time in class to complete their work. Now, they may have more math homework but that is just because we only have 50 minute math blocks and we don't always have time to get everything completed in class. Once a week I assign a nonfiction reading worksheet that does have to be completed outside of class, but it is on the child's reading level. It only has 5 questions which must be answered in complete sentence. We do a few together in the first weeks of school so they know how to complete these reading passages. I give study guides for most of my tests...especially in social studies. I always give these a week in advance, go over it in class on a daily basis (students can write down answers) before the test, and they can turn it in for extra credit the day of the test.
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Hmmmmm
Old 07-06-2012, 11:23 AM
 
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Interesting thread. This is what I think:
When I was a kid, my parents never micromanaged homework for my brothers and me. We were all involved in sports, religious obligations, and other activities and we had plenty of time to play outside, do homework, and be involved in the aforementioned enterprises. Of course, we didn't have cell phones, video games, computers, or "travel teams" to divert our attention. But we were in charge of our homework, and if it didn't get done that fact showed up on the report card and during teacher's conferences and we were made to "pay the piper." (One brother "paid" regularly : ) My parents didn't panic about it or think it was a direct reflection of their parenting abilities like many parents do now days. They just followed through with the consequences.

My own children, who are now young adults, were raised the same way. We did not micromanage their homework. They were expected to do it. (And they had plenty of time for a life, too.)

So, getting to the reading logs, I don't relate to those of you who are complaining about how hard it is for YOU that your kids need to complete a reading log. When your child is assigned a reading log and homework, it's his or her job. Not yours. If your child doesn't do his homework, then deliver the consequences.

My students complete a weekly reading log which requires a brief nightly response. They are also assigned homework to help them practice skills. Quite frankly, as a teacher, I don't care if this inconveniences my students' parents. Give me a break! The same parents who complain about thirty minutes of homework four times a week have no problem with their kids spending six hours a week on baseball practice or dance lessons.

I'm sure this won't be a popular response, but OP I'd keep doing what you think you need to do for your students!
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:28 AM
 
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The only reading logs I've done were the Book It ones.
The only homework I require is nightly reading to parents and studying for spelling or math tests. I don't want homework time to mess up family time.
I have a weekly agenda/homework sheet so parents know when tests are, etc. The parent is to sign each day, but half of them don't and I'm in a private school.

I can tell who reads at home and who doesn't. Those who do improve.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
So, getting to the reading logs, I don't relate to those of you who are complaining about how hard it is for YOU that your kids need to complete a reading log. When your child is assigned a reading log and homework, it's his or her job.
I don't complete my kids' reading logs, never have. It's always been the responsibility of the child. However, I have always been "required" to sign them.
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This one's a
Old 07-06-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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challenge... Many "experts" I respect say that reading logs provide valuable information about our kids' lives as readers. A year of logging shows both volume and variety in a tangible way. On the other hand... the readers read at home and the non-readers don't... regardless of the logs. I have used them but the parents are not involved. The kids just write titles, minutes, pages, genres and highlight entries the date they finish books. They set goals once a quarter based on their logs (i.e. read more regularly, try new genres, finish books rather than book hop). I assign a total minutes expected per week rather than per night as I know how family schedules can get complicated. My students have also logged in school reading. But I am torn... I know many "cheat." I also think too much assigned writing makes reading a chore. I'd rather log my reading than be forced to write about it every night. I am thinking of assigning three "sticky notes" per week instead. The kids will be able to do a brief "stop and jot." They will have lots of practice in school before this becomes "homework" where they simply track their thinking while they read.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:25 PM
 
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I HATE reading logs. The grade before ours has them and you wouldn't believe the parents and kids who thank us over and over again for not having them at our grade level. I've heard of so many kids who loved to read until they were forced to write a response to everything they've read. When I was a kid I would have doing that, and would have done the bare minimum instead of reading books by the shopping bagful as I did.
Our state standards have required students to maintain a list of books read. Since we have AR, we just have students keep a list of books they've quizzed on and their results. It's one way we meet the standard and we can know that they're reading on their level.

As far as homework, I believe in giving some for practice, esp. in math. It's a great way to reinforce the skills we're working on and some kids really need that practice. I also go over some of the problems in class so the HW becomes a reinforced learning opportunity. We don't give too much (less than the grade before us) and try to make sure it's worthwhile and balanced.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:07 PM
 
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I agree with Greenbunny. I am expected to give homework, which I despise. We all complain about putting in a full day and then doung more work when we get home. The kids, even the 12 year olds I teach, need down time and family time. Family time is not the same when stressed out over projects or fighting about the proper way to simplify a fraction.

I used reading logs in the past. Parents lie about it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:50 PM
 
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1. I do not like reading logs. I used to use them but they weren't worth the time or effort, for many of the reasons already mentioned by other posters.

The students use reading logs in the grade below us. At Open House, when I tell parents that I don't require reading logs, I can see the relief on their faces. I do tell them that if their child is not reading at home and they think that an assigned reading log would motivate their child, I will assign one. I tell them to let me be the bad guy if they want to. No one has ever taken me up on it, although the mere suggestion that I assign him a reading log helped one student become a "voluntary" reader, according to his mom. Now he loves to read!

2. I ask the parents if their children are reading at home and if not, if there is anything I do to help them read more at home. I also discuss with the children what they are reading at home. The reading they do at school is my responsibility, so I ensure that they have time to read and discuss books in class.

3. I have mixed feelings about homework. I only give homework to reinforce skills the students are learning in accordance with school policy. I give as little as possible. I don't like assigning it, and I hate keeping up with it. I give it daily M-Th. Some days I don't assign homework and I often differentiate it to make sure each child has homework he/she can do independently.
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My take
Old 07-06-2012, 03:16 PM
 
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I don't like reading logs. Used to do them, got tired of trying to enforce them did away with them.
Did the 40 book challenge and had the kids log them in at school.

If the kids are reading at home I would think that it would be reflected in the reading they do at school on their own and with you.

I gave up on daily hw. I assign maybe one thing from math and one thing from spelling and maybe one more subject. They assignments are choosen to reinforce what we've done in the simplest format I can come up with. I don't like checking HW much. I want the kids to start learning what it means to have a deadline, yet have some say in how it's met. I have a pocket chart where they turn it in when they finish. My rule is it's given on Monday and due on Friday before they leave. Do they do it at school? Yes. Do some of them do it all in one day? Yes. Do some turn it in at 2:59 because they're still working on it? Yes. Does it take some of them all week? Yes. Do we miss 15 mins daily do a HW check? Nope! With this system I've gotten a lot more cooperation from my classes and I've had some really difficult classes. I suppose it gives them ownership.
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My Opinion
Old 07-06-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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1. How do you feel about reading logs?
I used reading logs for thirty-two years, and not once did a parent complain. The log was simple...date, title, genre, guided reading level, minutes, and parent's initials. The response to what was read was done in school.

I think if parents are complaining about reading logs, it is because their kids are not only spending time reading at home, but also responding at home. IMHO, this responding can be done in school.

I also sent two books home each week that students needed to read aloud to their parents. These books were at their guided reading level. They were sent home on Friday, and one was due the following Wednesday and the other was due the following Friday. If they wanted to finish them early and return them before the due date, this was fine. These books counted as reading log minutes.

There was also a list of ten to twenty comprehension questions for each book sent home. The parent asked the questions...the child responded orally. This was a real eye-opener for parents who thought their kids were good readers. Many found out their child could say the words, but not comprehend the material.

2. If you don't sent a reading log, how will you know if students are reading at home?
Besides the reading log, I also did reading status first thing after attendance, lunch count, and pledge. It took five minutes each morning. Five students at a time lined up at the computer while I entered the date, title, guided reading level, and page number. This was my recordkeeping documentation for independent reading. It kept me in touch with what they were reading, gave me the ability to recommend a similar book/author, and helped me make sure they were reading books at their just right level, not ones that were too easy or too challenging.

Once students started a book, this was the one they read at school and at home until it was finished. There was no jumping around from one book to another. Once per quarter, they could abandon a book. This made students very careful in choosing what they were reading, and kept them focused and organized.

I also met with students once every two weeks to do a book conference on a book they had read. We reviewed their reading responses and talked about the book. The kids knew I would be able to tell if they had not read it. Book conferencing made them very accountable.

3. How do you feel about homework?
Life has responsibilities, and homework is one of them. I don't think thirty minutes of homework six days per week is a hardship on anyone. If it is, then there are consequences, because in my student's world, recess is a privilege. Responsibilities come first...privileges come second!

You can bet students are spending more than thirty minutes per day on video games or watching TV. That time could be better spent doing homework.

I think many teachers dislike homework because it is just something else for them to correct. Not so in my world...nightly homework was fifteen minutes of reading and log it, ten minutes of math (Home Link from Everyday Math and math facts), and five minutes of spelling (Words Their Way sort or sort activity). I did not have to correct any of this. I just checked every morning to make sure it was done.
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My decision
Old 07-06-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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Well, I've been giving Reading Logs and Homework (in Spelling only) for almost 24 years... and I've decided I'm DONE with both.

It's just not worth it with 30 5th graders, most of who don't get the Reading Logs signed, and if they DO get them signed, they willingly admit that they "didn't really read....mom just signed it anyway so I wouldn't get a mark in my folder." It just begins to be a pain for me every morning to check who did and who didn't...and then who really KNOWS?? so i'm done. After this many years, I'm willing to "pick my battles" during the day...not over what they do at home--

We have Accelerated Reader at our school (with other programs) that track their reading and their growth. I think that information is better than keeping track of a Reading Log that they may or may not have really completed.

WIth Spelling Homework this year, I'm going to work it into our Warm-Up time at the beginning of the period. The point is to learn the words & if they're doing that, I'm happy. If they do not finish during warm-up time, they have to take it home to complete...

My two cents....
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From parents point
Old 07-06-2012, 06:18 PM
 
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Hi Gavin,
I will be a first year teacher this year and plan on sending home weekly packets, reading logs, and require one book report from a book of the students choice. I think it is so important. My own children are going into 4th and 7th grade this coming year. I feel that my younger son is so behind! His teachers the last few years have not had homework or reading logs for him. I feel they didn't push him at all! I love when teachers have high expectations for my children. It will help them become successful adults. As a parent I would get so upset that they did not require reading logs or homework unless it was a week they felt like doing it. Sending out homework was never consistent and the few times they did, I did not know about it until it was too late. My son would throw it away. I could not reinforce it because I did not know he had any. It was crazy. I am hoping for a teacher this year for him who follows through with homework and holds them responsible for completing it. I also plan on having monthly calendars.
As a new teacher, what is one way you hold your students accountable for homework?
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:27 PM
 
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Hate them both!!
When I am reading I don't want to stop and write about it. I read until I have to stop. Who wants to stop early? My daughter is the same.
Taking grades for homework is unfair IMHO since you don't know how much or little support the students get at home. When I get home I am tired. I want to spend time with my family not doing homework.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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I really dislike reading logs, but don't mind homework that reinforces what my children learned in school and/or provides additional practice. I do hate busy work homework. I also don't thinkg that homework should be graded. If a student understands a math concept, why should they go home and do 30 or more math problems? One of my kids got a B in a math class when he had all A''s on assesments. In this particular class, homework counted more than assessments. As a teacher, I was annoyed with him and said, "Just do the work,", but honestly, there were nights when the assignment would be something like #2 - 64 (even). Who would want to come home and do that much work on something you know how to do? His homework average really brought down his grade. Reading logs and "double-entry" reading response notebooks are responsible for my son's eventual dislike of reading. The excessive, graded writing required in the notebook just made him hate reading. He said, "Mom, I'd just rather not read if I have to write about it." I agree with all of the posters who said that readers are going to read with or without a log, and those who don't like to read might just lie to get a good grade.
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agree
Old 07-07-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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Hi, I completely agree that homework should not be graded. I like giving positive incentives for stu!dents who do complete homework. I know many teachers who punish students for not having reading logs completed, I also disagree. We don't want students to hate reading! But, of course this is my thought on this, reading logs hold students accountable for reading. Many students would never pick up a book otherwise. If a student reads in class, they should be able to add that to their reading log. I realize I am much less experienced being a new teacher. I will be curious if my thoughts change as the year progresses.
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reading logs
Old 07-07-2012, 11:16 AM
 
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We have a reading program from our professional Hockey Team, the students just have to write down the name of the book and number of pages. I use that and how they are doing on their Reading Counts overall to determine who gets the monthly medal.

As far as homework, I send home one math review page and something for language arts. As long as they tried their best on it they get full credit. I tell them they should be able to do it without help. If they don't understand something, I am there before school or they can tell me first thing in the morning.
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Reading Logs & Homework
Old 07-07-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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Okay, it looks like I'm in the minority, but I use reading logs. For the past several years, I have also used The Book Whisperer's ideas and philosophy. I stopped using reading logs and the kids just weren't reading. At semester, I re instituted reading logs and the parents thanked me. They were trying to get their kids to read and fighting. Now they could simply say, that it was part of their homework. I also have 90-100% of the kids turn reading logs in each week. I want you to know though, that kids log minutes read at school and at home.

As far as homework goes, the only thing that is homework is what didn't get completed at school and should have. Usually it is a bit of math and spelling. Occasionally, it might be review questions in social studies and science.

Sorry to go against everyone else's ideas, but it's what works well for me.
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Reading Logs--- BIG NO.
Old 07-07-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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I agree with those that it is a gigantic waste of time. My students fake them, parents just sign them to get kids out of their face, they loose them, don't do them, etc. I find that the students who NEED it the most don't do it, and the angelic students who do everything you ask do it for further praise.

I am working on an AR system since we are getting AR this year at our school. I am attempting to make a goal for each child and then from there, I plan to have each child work on their goal towards reading a certain number of books. Reading should be for pleasure, not a chore.

I plan to have my homework for reading simply state: "Read to Reach Your AR Goal." It is not a mandated amount of time, and I use mini book reports, so that when they finish a book, they can summarize to me what they read in a productive way. Daily logging isn't working, and I don't plan on killing any more trees than I have to.

Hopefully this is helpful. I have my book report template as well. If anyone wants it, just say so and I will post it! (:
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I use them....
Old 07-07-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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My reading logs go home on Friday and are due the following Friday. They are responsible for reading 100 minutes over the week. The reading logs are aligned with our reading curriculum and the students must do a response to go with the target strategy for the week. They do not need to have a parent sign it. However, if their parent signs it they get a ticket for the drawing of the week. I've had great success with this approach, on average 85% or better returns. Our school requires we track home reading. I also send math homework Monday-Thursday, except on holiday weeks. The math is 10 problems at most and if it takes longer than 30 minutes the parents can sign the paper where the child gets to and send it back. Homework is graded on a complete or not basis not on correct answers, it is part of their grade. The parents have been wonderfully supportive and I will do the same this year. As far as parents signing when students haven't read, I feel that is on their heads as parents and try not to let it bother me... not always easy.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:15 AM
 
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We have to do the 100 Book Challenge. Students are SUPPOSED to read and log steps at home. Most lose the log(even with a folder and agenda) or someone simply signs(no reading). I have had students log an hour of reading before school-highly unlikely. Kids will tell me the parents just signed!! Very little accountability-they want to earn the medals and awards without the effort to read. I think a small amount of homework to practice/review is ok. Again, some parents do it all or don't help any. We have to grade it, and score it. I like the max of 10 minute per grade level idea for elementary kids.We give less at 2nd grade-1 or 2 weekly-1 spelling/1 vocab. Math- about every 2 weeks before a chapter test. I always give them at least 3 days to return it.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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1. How do you feel about reading logs? As a teacher I don't like them nor do I use them. My team decided to go along with my decision and didn't use them this year either. They loved that. My feeling is those who turn them in would read anyways. Those who don't turn them in probably don't read as much regardless. Also, when I did them for one year I was sick of collecting them, etc...It was one more thing for me. A lot of parents would say they lost them or forgot to mark the minutes down, and I'm sure some marked minutes that were not read. They're just a pain! It would take a lot to force me to do them again.

As a parent-my son will be in K this fall (my oldest). We got a reading calendar in the mail for the summer. DREAD! We didn't do well with the minutes for June, so we are reading extra in July to get it filled in so he can get a prize. I just want him to enjoy and have a love for reading; not read because there's a prize. That's what I hate too.


2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home? I make it very clear at fall conference and open house that there is no reading calendar but they are expected to read regardless. I also write about it in my weekly newsletter. I get books in their hands so they have something to read. Remember, a reading calendar does necessarily mean they are reading. You said in your post that many don't turn them in anyways, but you can't assume those kids aren't reading.

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...I despise homework too! I rarely send homework home. VERY rarely. I do teach first grade but I don't think that matters. There's something wrong when a 4th or 5th grade is doing HW for an hour + at night. I want kids to have time for other activities outside of school. I already have them all day. Also, now that my oldest has been in some activities, I wonder when HW would get done on thos evenings. Honestly, HW is my biggest dread when I think about him entering school. Also, the kids that may need the extra practice are the kids that need to running around after school and doing other activities. I don't want to kill the love/like for school. The other ones don't need the practice.

My students (and parents) also know what they can do at home to support the learning. I always send ideas home on my weekly newsletter that are easy to do.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:36 AM
 
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Quote:
The same parents who complain about thirty minutes of homework four times a week have no problem with their kids spending six hours a week on baseball practice or dance lessons.
But they are at school all day. I know they aren't sitting and doing work all day, but they need time for baseball or dance or chess or whatever it may be. That is being well rounded.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:43 AM
 
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Quote:
I will be a first year teacher this year and plan on sending home weekly packets, reading logs, and require one book report from a book of the students choice. I think it is so important. My own children are going into 4th and 7th grade this coming year. I feel that my younger son is so behind! His teachers the last few years have not had homework or reading logs for him. I feel they didn't push him at all! I love when teachers have high expectations for my children. It will help them become successful adults. As a parent I would get so upset that they did not require reading logs or homework unless it was a week they felt like doing it. Sending out homework was never consistent and the few times they did, I did not know about it until it was too late. My son would throw it away. I could not reinforce it because I did not know he had any. It was crazy. I am hoping for a teacher this year for him who follows through with homework and holds them responsible for completing it. I also plan on having monthly calendars.
As a new teacher, what is one way you hold your students accountable for homework?
Your comments really rubbed me the wrong way! First of all, you make it sound like teachers who don't send home reading logs or homework do not have high expectations and that we are not pushing them. Excuse me?!?!?! That is so not true! I have very high expectations of my students and I push them. Over half my first graders left this June reading above the end of year grade level (and over half of those kids were well above). The rest but two were at grade level and the two were very close. Oh, and every one of my students met all end of year standards in grade one. Every single child; every single standard. I work in a high poverty school!

I hadn't sent homework home since the fall and no reading logs! My students knew their job was to work hard in school. We tracked progress, had math and reading goals, charts for each child where we logged progress, etc...this is how you motivate children to succeed!

I would be careful about making such bold statements until you are in the classroom and have gained some experience.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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You've hit a hot topic, Gaven!
I don't like reading logs, I do them because my principal tells me I must. My reading log is kid/parent friendly because it is true as you've all said, they are not close to being accurate. I know because I did it when my son was required to keep up with one! I have a place on my reading log that says "no opportunity" because we don't always get 20 minutes or more to dedicate to reading nightly. Yes it is critical to read at home but perhaps more important to see it modeled! So ... I have my parents only sign the log once (double sided). You'll know kids are reading. I am debating whether or not to do logs this year and I think the not is winning.

I don't give homework. In my school's neighborhood the playing field is not level. Some kids go home and have a parent or two if they're lucky, to help. Some kids see their parents in the morning only or late at night before they go to bed. We also have language barriers where the child has general ed homework but the parent at home speaks Spanish and can't help. Too many battles from which to choose and that is not one I'm going to fight.
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No wrong intent
Old 07-09-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Hi AD, I did not mean to rub you the wrong way, I was referring to my son's past year teachers who did not have high expectations. I have worked with many teachers who do not send home reading logs and still have high expecations. If what I said came off the wrong way I am sorry. I have met some fabulous teachers here and at the schools I have worked at. I did not mean that personally to you or anyone here, it was my personal experiences with my own children and one of my son's past teachers who were not consistent. If you reread my post it references my own children and not the classroom from a teachers perspective..after all my title did say from a parents perspective. So in no way was I being rude to anyone. I will be done with this post because I did not come here to be 'yelled' at. Just because it is my first year in the classroom does not mean I have no experience either. If this rubbed you the wrong way it was not my intent.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:00 AM
 
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This was just my point of view, each person is entitled to their own opinion. And yes, I may change my mind later. As of right now working and being influenced by the teachers I have, I love reading logs. I do think offering positive incentives is the way to go about is.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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I see what you are saying. It's just that your post could be interpreted in different ways. You wrote about how your son's teachers (from the last few years) didn't send homework or reading logs home, and then the next sentence went on to say you like when they have high expectations and want students to be successful. Putting those statements together make it sound like they go hand in hand.

I worked with teachers (student teaching, practicums, etc...) who used reading logs. I fully intended to use them and started my first year (and some of my second year) using them thinking they were a very good thing. I was simply saying that you seemed to be making some bold statements as someone who is entering the profession for the first time. It's different to look at things from the perspective of a parent vs. teacher and vice versa.

Seriously, I was not "yelling" at you.
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monthly average
Old 07-09-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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I have students keep track of the number of minutes they have read. If they read for an average of 20 minutes daily they have met the goal. They do not have to write about what they have read nor do they record titles and levels. Since it is an average there are days they may not read and days were they may have read for over an hour. I also admit that there are days when I'm super busy and don't get any reading done that I would like to do and I know that happens in their lives also. I always explain to my students that reading is wonderful and model that by sharing my own reading and bringing in many books at many different levels and finding out what students' interests are (I have a large personal collection and use the library a lot). I don't require a certain reading level for the monthly at home reading calendar. As an adult I read a wide variety of levels depending on my purpose. I want them to read what they want to read for those 20 minutes. I'm sure that I have had parents just sign the calendar, but I don't make a big issue about it. They can take AR tests on the books they have read at home and in the classroom.

Most of the homework is classwork that students didn't complete. Most students finish during the given time (except math). Students may have half of a math lesson to complete (maybe 10-15 problems). I have a Word Study Contract where students can choose what activities they want to complete. The number of points they complete determines the grade for the contract. I give the new contract on Friday and it is due the following Thursday. Students may hand in the completed contract at any time if finished early. Occasionally students have other projects.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:12 AM
 
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I think the one thing a reading log does is help reinforce that reading at home is important. I think at some point reading logs are useless no matter what (by middle school if they haven't figured that out - what is the point?)

I don't put any weight on reading logs. I don't grade them. I have once in a while rewarded students who returned theirs just to reinforce that I want them returned from those students who didn't (and I can tell are not reading). It gave me a reminder and a reason to talk to some students and parents about reading at home. For those reasons I still do them.

Homework I send what our math program asks, which is a short one page practice that should take 5 or 10 minutes at the most. I like that because parents can see what things we are working on, since most work does not come home regularly (in a work book, or game format).
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:34 AM
 
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TO ALL TEACHERS/PARENTS:

1. How do you feel about reading logs?
I have used reading logs for over 20 years. Not sure if I use them in a different way than others?? My students are expected to read 1 book a night at their independent level. Parents sign, they return to school and write an AR test on the book. Many students take other books from the library, from book orders etc. but we don't record them. They are all encouraged to read at school and at home and to mix up fiction and non-fiction in their daily picks.
If they miss a night here and there it is not the end of the world. If they miss often, I try to read with them at school so they don't fall behind. (Research proves a book a day adds up pretty fast in improving reading.)
As a parent I felt it was important to do the same with my own kids. (Their teachers used their log books the same way.) But I also included trips to the public library and books as gifts for birthday , Christmas etc.

2. If I don't send home a log how will I know if students are reading at home?
Probably you will know by who is successful and who is not. But I feel some parents would like guidance as to what is appropriate to expect from their child at this age, and need the leverage of this needs to be done as the school expects it done.
Just a few minutes a night isn't too much to expect. I tell my students having trouble that even half a book a night is fine if it is taking them too long to read. (2nd Grade) No child needs a half hour or more of frustration if a book is too long or ended up too hard.

3. How do you feel about homework? I've tried daily hw, weekly packets, and monthly hw
calendars...
I dont' assign any unless work was incomplete during the day due to the student not using their work time wisely. (Pretty rare.)

As you can see there are a lot of experienced teachers out there with varying opinions. You will need to do what works for you in your area that you teach. Trying to make someone do "what I do" will not work for them unless if fits with their teaching style/beliefs.
Good luck in making your decision.

Last edited by Gr2_girl; 07-10-2012 at 08:36 AM.. Reason: typo
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Just a link...
Old 07-12-2012, 08:08 PM
 
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I posted this on another "reading logs" thread, but thought I'd post it here.

http://www.tooter4kids.com/classroom...s_every_da.htm

I send my modified version of this letter home to parents with the outline of my home reading program (very basic -- read 2 books at your reading level, write them down, parents sign, bring them back and get 2 more... no reader's response except for any conversation we may have at school; every 25 books you graduate to a new color of paper which is the best thing ever in first grade and get a reading certificate). I encourage reading every night, but I don't grade it or require responses from it. I just explain the importance of having a reading life outside of school from the letter and at our meet the teacher night I also explain proper paired reading to parents so that they know how to help their child through a book and what kinds of questions to ask (if they have time for it and if they choose to do it). I've had very positive responses from both the kids and parents on my home reading program.
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All in moderation.
Old 07-13-2012, 10:40 PM
 
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1. I teach kindergarten. I send home a weekly log (due Friday) and a response to literature (only on Thursday night). The students fill out the name of the book, circle a happy, plain, or sad face to show how they felt about the story, and then they complete the written response (Thursday) on one of the books they read (or was read to them). The reading log is on one side of the paper, the response to liturature on the other. I look at both sides (Friday, after school) and mark or comment as I feel is needed at the time (like when it is obvious that the work was done by someone else). Then it goes back home.

I don't record anything. I do have a small "We Work At Home" bb. If anyone has done a very good job on the written reponse to literature, it goes up, and the student is praised. I do it to encourage regular reading at home, and to practice the skills kindergarten students need to learn. Some students do it, some do it rarely. It is not part of their grade, but encouraged.

I have noticed that students who regularly do the reading log, tend to take off in reading sooner, and become hooked on reading. I always relay this observation to parents at our beginning of the year Back-to-School night.

2. Do you care if students are reading at home? Is there a better way to check, if you do want them to read? At the higher grades, projects and reports may be an alternative. They have to read to obtain the needed information. Kindergarteners need models, encouragement, and a lap.

3. I teach half-day kindergarten. I don't have an aide. This year I had 29 students. That number can go to 31. I can't do it all. I don't give a lot of homework, but I send it - daily. I send the reading log/response to liturature, book bag (and response or activity), practice papers (printing, phonics, math, whatever), family activities, projects. I try to not have more than one page that needs to be turned into me each day. I take a few minutes after school to look it over, mark it, and put in student cubbies to go home.

So... Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I have one paper, each day, to correct after school. Thursday, students return the book bags and what ever they had to do with it. And Friday, I get the reading log/response. Very do-able. I've tried weekly, but getting that packet at the end (or beginning) of the week was so overwhelming. Most of the work got tossed.

I'm all for homework, but in moderation.
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Shawsh, thank you for the link.
Old 07-13-2012, 10:49 PM
 
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I love it. I would love to add it to my Back-to-School powerpoint.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:24 AM
 
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I really dislike the standard reading log, where the students just write the title of the book, how many minutes ready, and require a parent signature. However, if you are trying to gauge that they are comprehending what they are reading, you could do a question that requires a response, because really you want to increase their stamina and their skill, right? So, if you feel you must do reading logs, ask a plot question, a character question, etc. Make it a reading response so that you can gauge understanding, not a parent signature. Just an idea. I don't personally like the logs where parents just sign off.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:40 PM
 
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Hi-
I have been teaching for a long time, and I try to limit homework time to 20-30 minutes, then I ask for 30 minutes of reading. (No logs; I have 4 children and as a parent, I hated the the way HAVING to do it turned my kids off to reading). I have finally found a system that works for me because it holds the kids accountable and reinforces skills, particularly in math. In my classroom, all nightly homework assignments (math, vocab, for example), are worth 2 points for completion. I can quickly tour the room to see whose work is finished; the 2 points are for completion, not correctness. We do a quick review, (sometimes large group and sometimes in small groups), I ascertain where we may have issues with understanding and we reexamine those problems together. The 2 points make them accountable, it is non threatening since I don't check for correctness, and I don't have parents doing it for their children (used to happen a lot) because I am only looking for completion. I have done this for the last two years and my stress level has gone down significantly. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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I do logs
Old 07-15-2012, 02:44 PM
 
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I do a log, mostly because I want my students to get used to taking a homework type assignment home, finishing it and turning it back in the next day. I want them to get used to having a routine bringing homework back and forth to school. It will help them as they go up in grades. The minute they walk into my room in the morning, they turn their log into a basket. I check them at recess, stamp a on the ones who read that night, and have them put it into their homework folder. Their ticket out my door at the end of the day is the homework folder with the reading log.

I don't grade it. I don't doubt that most don't read, (I ask for 20 min a night for first grade), but I only ask that they write the title of the book, and parent initial it. I know who doesn't read, I can tell by assessments. I just check to see who turns it in each day.

This year, along with the log, I'm trying an idea I saw on Pinterest. My biggest goal is that they read at least 100 minutes a week. The idea shows a dogtag necklace that they add a pony bead to each 100 minutes. I think this will be motivating to many. We have AR, but in first not too many can take them at the first of the year. Will there be some who don't read and have very few beads on their necklaces? Of course. Is there a perfect way? Nope. I just want them to read each night to become better readers. I just hope this is a fun way for many to see how much they are reading. It is very visual. Check on Pinterest, I'm not sure what it was called, but it is something else to try.
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WOW! thanks... :)
Old 07-15-2012, 11:48 PM
 
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I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions they are very helpful. I am going to continue using reading logs but I am definitely making some changes. The last thing I want to do is turn students away from reading freely! I'm still bouncing around some different ideas about how to use them but I know for sure I'm not going to require parents to sign daily. Regarding homework, I think I like homework calendars the best but I need to make some changes there also. All of your ideas are a great resource!

Thanks again!

Gaven
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Thanks for sharing...
Old 07-29-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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I would love a copy please!
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Would love updated snapshots! :)
Old 08-02-2012, 12:15 AM
 
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I read your previous threads, and I am really excited about having my students complete snapshots. You mentioned updating yours to align with the CCSS. I didn't see these anywhere. Hoping I didn't miss them??
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:53 PM
 
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I have to agree with the first response-both as a 28-year teacher and as a parent.
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