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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