The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Reading Logs

I really don’t mean for this blog to be all about reading but, dang it, we do a lot of reading in my class, and I am really impressed with what my students accomplish each day! Besides, it is my blog and anyone who knows anything about me probably knows that I love reading to a degree that is almost absurd. So it really shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I tend to write about reading a lot.

I told my class last week that we were going to start using reading logs each week so that I could better understand what they were reading, when they were reading, and how much they read each time. We talked about it as a class and decided what the reading log should look like. The class was also informed that the reading logs would be collected each Monday morning and that a new one would be sent home each Monday afternoon. This way, I would be able to track their home reading habits each week. In addition to all of this, it was made very clear that I expect each student to be reading every day at home.

Or so I thought.

I had about six students turn in their reading logs this morning. Several others said that they forgot them. Others told me that they didn’t know they were supposed to turn them in because they weren’t completely filled out. (I allowed for 15 different reading sessions to be recorded.) Yet others said that they didn’t understand how to fill them out, despite the sample that I had written on the board when I first handed them out.

Le sigh.

This is just more evidence that a teacher must explain a concept of skill several times before it is fully understood.

Still, the reading logs are already giving interesting insights into my students’ reading habits and their understanding of what it means when I send a paper home. Some students think that papers sent home aren’t actually meant to go home, and therefore stuff them in a folder in their desks. Some students take papers home but never bring them back. Others take them home and return them partially completed, claiming that what they do at home is their business and not mine, even though they have an assignment to complete a reading log and turn it in each week. And then, of course, I have the students who take papers home and return them promptly as expected.

I’ll keep working with them on the reading logs. Hopefully I will have more students tomorrow turn in their completed logs, with a record of what they read, how long they read, how many pages were read, what days the reading took place, and a parent’s initials to verify that reading happened.

That’s the plan, at least. I’ll hope that next Tuesday (since there is no school on Monday) will net better results than a first foray into reading logs this year.

Hopefully.

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4 responses

  1. I can only imagine what the reading log would have looked like for me if I had been required to keep one in fourth grade. It would have been turned in on time, but all of the logging would have been in the same pen, and if you had compared the initials to my parents they probably wouldn’t have matched. The hardest part for me would have been deciding “did I spend 5 hours reading on Saturday, or 6?”

    October 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  2. Lol, teachers hated my reading habits, and so did my parents. I would use reading to avoid homework and chores. The class would be assigned to read the first chapter of some book like Journey or My Side of the Mountain. The next day the teacher would have us predict what happens next…which I could never do because I went and read the whole book already. It got worse in high school, when I had books like McBeth read before they were even assigned.

    October 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm

  3. So now that you are both adults, how have your reading habits changed?

    October 4, 2011 at 6:17 am

  4. One of the teachers that allows me to come in for prevention is a reading teacher. Each day that I’m there for prevention (once per week, during their reading class), she starts off by quickly surveying her students. Their assignment each night per week is to read 20 minutes (I don’t know if they have this assignment on the weekend or not), then she asks them during the quick, out-loud survey what page they are on (and she records what book, and if they’ve finished or abandoned a book). It takes maybe 3 minutes at the start of class to survey them, but I guess that way she tracks their reading in a consistent manner & doesn’t have to worry about if they’re forgetting/losing/refusing to do their logs on their own. Her students are also 4th graders. Anyway, just thought I’d share what she does, and it seems to work for her classroom! (I also believe there are consequences in place for those that didn’t read or forgot to read–though I don’t know what those are).

    October 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

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