I took a giant leap this year. I ditched the reading logs. Some may say I’m crazy, some may say it’s a genius move. There are a lot of opinions on this topic! I want my kids to read, but I want them to enjoy reading.
Last year, my students (who would read all day long if I let them) told me that the book log was making them dislike reading. It broke my heart! They explained that they were so distracted by what they were going to write, that they couldn’t focus on their book. I knew that I needed to make a change.
Enter Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild. She starts her year off with a Status of the Class roll call. The students record the date and title of the book they are reading and then complete the sentence “I am at the part where…” She then has the students go around the room and share their book title and one sentence summary.
This system has been a huge game-changer in my classroom! The students come into class and immediately write down their status of the class. It then takes less than 8 minutes for 25 students to share. They are enjoying reading and sharing reading with their classmates.
I had one student who finished reading a book but didn’t want to spoil the ending for his friend who was still immersed in it, so he had him go stand in the hall while he read his status. Made me laugh! I am hearing a lot more conversations about books among my students than I ever have.
It’s also a great system for me because I can quickly see if a student has been reading a book for a long time or if they are jumping from book to book. As they share, I also comment on what they are reading or ask questions. It’s a super-quick interchange, but gives me a lot of information.
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Tina Crofts says
Oh, oh, I like this! I am going to give it a try. I am in the middle of trying to figure out a system and have tried 2 so far this year. Thanks for your brilliance! I will let you know how it goes 🙂
Do you use Status of the Class just for books they are reading at home? Are these different from the books they read in class? If they are the same, what is your system for bringing books back and forth? What if they forget a book? Thank you, I loved this post!
Hi! Just to double check I understood this correctly: The kids come in, write down the book they're reading. Then every kid tells the whole class a one sentence summary and the title of the book every day? I just want to make sure I use this procedure correctly. This is a nice alternative to book logs/reading logs. I was going to do a rotating schedule for book talks, but this holds them accountable and engages one another with the books they are reading. I love the idea! Let me know. Thanks.
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