Something I’ve been saying a lot lately is…
There are TONS of things like this in our practice that I’m starting to rethink. Simply because I don’t like the answer. I know that if I say, well…because that’s usually how it’s done…I need to think about if doing it the way we’ve always done it is what’s best for the kids.
There is a better way to do things, and I’m going to be debunking some tried and true things over the next several weeks. I hope you’ll come on the journey with me as I rethink a few concepts that just need a better solution.
Here are the topics! 🙂
It’s important to remember here that this is a journey…no judgement. I’m going to process what I’m thinking at this stage of the game, and I look forward to hearing from you guys what your challenges are with these same issues as they come up. I recognize that for some of us, there may not be viable solutions because of the way our schools are run, but, my hope is that if we talk about more solutions then maybe in time, you’ll feel the freedom to broach some of these ideas with your administrations and work towards positive change for the children.
So…now let’s talk about reading logs.
There’s really no love out there for reading logs.
I mean…there’s post after post about how much people hate them!
Of course, there is always the outlier. You can read why this blogger LIKES reading logs HERE.
I would say that although I appreciate the perspective of the blogger who feels that reading logs are about responsibility, I am with the majority on this one.
Down with the traditional log.
I used to have a reading log that kids would write about 20 books in per month.
We said that the kids had to read about 100 a year for the end of the year award. Now…reading 100 by the end of the year when you are in first grade is not really hard, when you think about all the reading that they do, but…by the time the kids had been in school for three months, the parents were starting to repeat books and loathe the logs. When parents hate something…kids hating it will not be far behind. 🙁
Over the summer, I started thinking about what I wanted the reading log for.
1.) The log helps me track their progress toward an end of the year goal that connects to an award.
What’s wrong with this?
Well, it’s not really about the kids. It’s about the endless paper trail that teaching has become.
So…what else did I think?
2. I need the log because kids need to be reading every night.
Well, okay…that’s viable, but…what does writing about it have to do with actual reading? This still sounds like accountability. Which I admit is important…but should not supersede the idea of reading just because you feel like it. Does it matter if they sit and read for two hours…because they are engrossed in a book…rather than 15 minutes per night for a week? I say, both work…if the kid is ENJOYING the experience.
3. Okay….I really have a log because everyone else at my school uses a log.
Oh…NOW we get to the point.
So, if a log MUST be had…is there wiggle room for how that is done?
Can I craft something that is both healthy for my kids and gives me the accountability that I need?
After some thought…
The answer to that question was YES.
|You can download this version for free by clicking HERE.|
At the end of each month, I have a time for the kids to come up and share their favorite book with the other kids in the class. We have a book swap and a DEAR time so that kids can get a chance to read things that their friends are recommending.
|Here’s a fun picture of a dinosaur from a dinosaur book that my student read! 🙂|
|Here’s a reading long from a different student! Now that I know he likes to read about athletes, I’ll get a few books on athletes for my library! 🙂|
I don’t enforce nightly reading. I probably more support binge reading. LOL!
I love to read myself, and I read as often as I can. Some nights, I can’t read because I’m busy or I’m tired. That happens to my kids too! When I can sit and read…I can read for hours if no one interrupts me. I want my kids to learn the joy of falling in love with reading. I think it will happen organically if it’s not forced. My hope is that the way I’m doing my ‘logs’ now will help minimize the stress parents feel about homework, and give my students a chance to reflect on books in a way that is meaningful for them.