Today was a super long day. I have my BTS head cold and tonight was our Open House. No shaking hands and hugging former students for me!
Thought I would stop by quickly to talk about something I am trying - again - after taking a year off. So I am linking up with the amazing Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for her linky....
I have read The Book Whisperer (twice actually) and took a lot away from it. Last year I thought - home reading logs are pointless - I agreed with a lot of the points made in the book. Unfortunately, without home reading logs most of my students DID NOT read at home. I had a few students that I would describe as voracious readers - the kind of student that reads at recess, on the bus, on the way to the bus and I had students who loved to read in class. But when I asked, the majority of my students were not reading at home - because they didn't have to. I know I should be able to instill in them a desire to read no matter what - but until then, I am making them read and making their parents sign!!
This year when I asked my students if their parents were readers four students raised their hands. That is 1/5 of the students! I am a reader so we were talking about the type of reading where people can't talk to you because even if you say you are listening, you are not - only two students have those types of parents. I think that when I don't assign reading with a home reading log - not only do the students think they don't have to read, the parents see it as an out as well.
So this is what we are doing. Each student is given a folder, inside is info for the parents, a weekly reading log and reading response pages. I am asking my students to read for 75 minutes a week (or 15 minutes 5x a week) and do one reading response page. Students can select the reading response page they would like to complete for the week. They can choose books from the classroom or reading material at home. All I ask is they return their folder on Monday with their parent's signature.
Of course the program has a superhero theme and some incentives (more on that on Saturday!). Inside the folder I put a letter to parents, a suggested reading list and a reading log. In the back pocket I put reading response pages. I also put in a large bookmark - this is for them to put in the place of a book if they borrow a book from our classroom library.
This is where my students hand in their folders on Monday mornings.
I have a label on each hanging file with their student numbers .The folders are grouped into 5 by color to make finding your file a little easier. Students find their number and put their home reading folder in! This makes it so much easier when I am checking to see who has returned their folder and completed their minutes.
At the back of the file folders there is a green file folder - for new reading logs. Next there is an orange file folder for extra reading response pages.
I was able to quickly check the reading logs for time and parents signature. I have a recording sheet to see who has completed their minutes and another to track what response pages they have completed (since they select - did I mention that already? this head cold is kicking my behind).
Today was our first day of returning our folders and about 70% of the class completed their home reading. We talked about it again, went over consequences and rewards and I hope that number goes up next week. I will share with you some of my plans to motivate my students to read at home on Saturday!!