In the spirit of the New Year and resolutions being set, this was a perfect time for me to "create" a new look for classroom reading logs. Sometimes a new form or a new way to organize can rejuvenate a routine that has been established in your reading workshop. Ask colleagues around your school how they encourage reading logs in their classroom and you will discover many different beliefs...students write down how many minutes they read, students write down titles within a set number of minutes, parents sign that the reading was completed, parents don't sign that the reading was completed, students have choice for nightly reading, students are assigned a specific reading each night...and so it goes...
I am a firm believer that every teacher is on a journey and our beliefs are based on the moments, people, experiments, and books that have been encountered along the way. My journey has led to a reading graph approach. Students record books that have been read or put "on pause" on a reading graph. The titles of each column are determined by the class and individual students with input from other students, the teacher, the librarian, and the parents. My journey has led to no parent signatures, instead...before packing up for the day...students discuss their reading life for that night and ask questions...Do I need to take a bookclub book home? Am I going to embark on digital media reading at Wonderopolis tonight on my parent's Nook because I will be waiting at soccer practice? Am I excited to continue a book I am almost done with from reading workshop today? Do I just want a quick read tonight because I am watching my little sister and need to grab a book from our classroom library? This reading log is not just for home and not just for school...it is a graph that shows the home-school connection of a student's reading life.
I have chosen a graph format so my students (and myself) can visually see a student's reading life at a glance and begin to analyze for themes and comparisons. For myself, looking at a list is difficult to process in an one-on-one conference or strategy group.
With the end of the quarter coming...this is a good time to have students give their reading logs a "face lift" or completely hand the creation of the logs over to the students.
Click here for Reading Graph (It works best if printed on paper that is 11x17...hole punch on the left side and fold it in so it does not stick out the side of the binder. Students love opening this large piece of paper that holds all of their reading each quarter.)