Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Joy of Reading!




Are reading logs killing the joy of reading in your students? “Reading is important!”  That is not up for debate!  But stealing the joy of reading from young children and families does not have to be part of the experience! 

So here’s the scenario: 
It’s 7:00 and your kiddos are winding down.  You’ve established a wonderful bedtime ritual of reading before bedtime.  Your children are in their cozy pajamas and you’re snuggled up together reading some great books.  You finish the last book and your children may or may not remind you to complete the reading log.  You don’t want them to miss out on the reward!  (Yes, I’ve even been THAT teacher!)  Now, the search for the backpack or the reading log begins!  Maybe you complete the reading logs and put it right back in the backpack.  Maybe you complete the reading log and leave it on the kitchen table and then it gets tossed in the recycling when you collect the newspapers.  Now it’s the next morning and you’re rushing to get ready for work and school and your searching for the backpack and the reading log. 

As a mother of 4 daughters, I have completed my “unfair” share of reading logs.  That’s right, “I have completed them!”Typical reading logs are all about the parents, right?  The parents write down the title and the minutes read or record the page numbers.  All of this usually happens right at bedtime which disrupts that moment of connection between parent, child and book!

And this is supposed to encourage our students to read?!

As a teacher for 20 years, I've assigned the weekly reading log.  I've even had parties for reading minutes and celebrated those recorded minutes!  You know...the celebration for the parents that had it all together and completed the reading log!  Well all that's in the past...

I want to encourage reading not make it a chore.  I created reading logs for my students that are fun and kid-focused!  Students take ownership of "logging" minutes and are responsible for completing the reading logs!

I want my students to read every night.  I start by asking them to read for 10 minutes a night.  But soon they realize that they have built their "stamina" and like to read longer!  These reading logs allow for students to record their reading in increments of 10 minutes.  Students, not parents, color one picture for every increment of reading.  In the picture below, students would color one Christmas light bulb for every 10 minutes!  Then after coloring five bulbs, they would have read 50 minutes!  


It's easy for them to add their own minutes (counting by 10s)  and record the weekly total!  I like how they are practicing counting, as well as reading lots!  I have several students asking for extra reading logs each week!  They love being responsible and seeing their success!  The results in my class have been great!   


Tips for Success


  • I teach my students how to set the timer on our iPads at school.  I encourage parents to show their children how to use a timer that's available at home...phone, tablet, kitchen timer...anything that the child can use INDEPENDENTLY!  
  • Practice at school first!  When I introduce Read to Self, we color in our reading logs for practice!
  • Encourage your students to read to younger siblings, pets, or stuffed animals!  It's fun to have an audience!
  • Celebrate class success instead of highlighting individual minutes!  Everyone gets to enjoy a celebration after the entire class reaches a goal.  This removes the competition!
If this sounds like something your students would enjoy,  click on the picture below for a free reading log to try!