Ditching the Reading Logs

Why Reading Logs is an important task?

Reading logs are important in the intermediate grades to assist students and instructors keep track of their reading volume and progress. Reading logs also provide ownership of learning to students, allowing them to take charge of their education.

After a few months of adopting reading logs in my fifth-grade classroom, I began to feel overburdened by the daily ritual. I noticed that each night, kids’ reading logs consistently showed the same amount of minutes read: 20. My pupils appeared to be reading just because they had to, not because it opened up new worlds for them, because reading about a character who looked like them gave them a sense of belonging and hope, or because they wanted to learn how to make the world a better place.

I wanted to know if other instructors felt the same way, and what research there was on the subject. Many parents and educators I spoke with had strong negative opinions regarding reading logs and evidence-backed up these feelings. Mandatory reading tasks, like reading logs, have been proven to lower pupils’ incentive to read, according to one research. I removed the reading log from my classroom after conducting more research through student interviews and parent questionnaires.

Before forming reading accountability partners, I tried a few other approaches. Every day, accountability partners gather to review the reading from the previous day. The procedure may appear straightforward, but the outcomes have been remarkable.

Forming Partners For Reading Accountability

Every student in this activity needs a companion for discussions about their reading, and the matching must be deliberate. Students should be placed with someone who will both academically and emotionally push them. Knowing your pupils is a necessity for forming partnerships. Spend time in your classroom thinking about student relationships, seeing students engaging with one another, and listening in on discussions to ensure that you match kids with someone who is both comfortable and accountable.

Once the pairs have been formed, give mini-lessons to assist students to understand their role as a reading accountability partner—how to keep a peer accountable for daily reading while being open to critique. Demonstrate how to hold a book discussion and communicate about reading, and allow students to practice these abilities. Provide students with anchor charts and other visualizations with useful methods that they may refer to throughout discussions.

Provide students with leading questions to help them have good dialogues. The following questions were beneficial to my pupils and me:

  • What is your favorite aspect of your book?
  • What emotions did this book elicit in you?
  • Which character do you connect to the most, and why?
  • What has changed you as a result of what you’ve read?
  • Do you feel compelled to take action as a result of your new knowledge?

You could want to provide them with a diary in which they can keep track of their notes. We also found that having a calendar on which students could jot down notes regarding their reading and partner conversations each day was beneficial. They appreciated being able to go back in time and reflect on what they had read and discussed in prior days and months, as well as how far they had progressed. Some students were quick to notice patterns in their reading, such as which days they read more at home; which genres they were stuck in if any; and when it was time to branch out and explore other genres and authors.

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To help students succeed, I recommend allowing them unhurried time each day to meet with their accountability partners and offering alternatives for appropriate talking settings. We found that roughly 10 minutes of partner time was sufficient in our fifth-grade classroom, however, this may vary by grade level.

By being there and “guest partnering” with kids, you can guarantee that the interactions are relevant. Avoid imposing conditions or assigning grades or other metrics to their leisure reading and discussions. Allow this activity’s only objective to be to encourage pupils’ love of reading.

Example Of Anecdotal Evidence

One of my former fifth-graders, Ava, lacked confidence in her reading abilities but exhibited resilience. She couldn’t imagine reading ever being enjoyable for her, but she was prepared to put in the effort. Ava was encouraged to read more by her accountability partner. Because of their devotion to one another, they seldom arrived at school without having read the night before, and when they did, I would overhear them apologizing to one another for disappointing the other.

Ava was able to achieve success as a reader for the first time in her schooling because of the accountability partner’s activity, and she and her partner developed a lifelong bond. Ava was able to attempt novels she had previously avoided because of her chats with her partner; she also encountered people she could identify with and discovered stories she wished would never end.

Ava made considerable academic progress in our school, but more importantly, she departed with a passion for reading and learning. Her mother approached me at the end of the year, telling me about Ava’s newfound confidence and how reading had become a favorite family pastime.

About the article

Reading logs are important in the intermediate grades to assist students and instructors keep track of their reading volume and progress. Reading logs also provide ownership of learning to students, allowing them to take charge of their education. In this article, we discussed the consequences of ditching the reading logs.

Carter Martin

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