Friday, August 9, 2013

Tackling the independent reading homework...{and a giveaway}!


So for today's ramblings, I want to talk about independent reading homework.  In my district, 5th graders are required to read 20 minutes per night and 100 pages per week.  Research shows that the more students read, the better their vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, etc so it's SO IMPORTANT that they are reading at home!  This says it all:

I am going to give this to all my parents at open house.  The message is so powerful!!

I found in my first few years of teaching, I really struggled with managing this element of homework, because I didn't really have a great way of checking it.  I used a reading log where the parents signed off each night, but this still didn't feel right.  So through trial and error, I have adjusted it to work to my satisfaction.  This is what I do:

Each night, my students have a reading log to complete.  


I copy it back to back so the students have choices in what they choose to complete that night.  The reading log reflects different aspects of comprehension, vocabulary, visualizing, predicting, summarizing, and fluency.  At the beginning of the year, I spend time modeling how I expect the reading logs to be completed.  When we read aloud as a class, I use that book to fill out a section of the log with the class.  Each day we add a new one until they get familiar with the routine, expectations, and formatting of the logs.  I make it so they will master a couple at a time, and then introduce new ones to keep them interested.  I usually start assigning them for homework around the third week of school, when they have really practiced and I have modeled enough.

Here's what some pages look like:

There are 18 pages in all and they can be copied back to back to make the homework different each week.  I found that my students like the different options and they like that they get to choose which block to complete each night.  I also like how they are different enough to differentiate for the low, average, and high learners.  I also have found that with the regular practice of these reading skills they become concrete and make the students stronger readers by the end of the year.  

An added bonus is that they are super easy to correct, and I truly do enjoy seeing the different books that are being read in my classroom.  Usually I use a check plus, check, or check minus grading system with a quick note to the students.  You could use stickers, grading numbers like 1-4 for content and quality, or stick to the basic check system.  

In the spirit of back to school, I'm going to offer these in my TpT store for 20% off Friday and Saturday.  I'm also going to give my first Rafflecopter a shot! I'll pick 3 winners and I'll send you my Reading Response Logs.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I allow the students to choose their own book and have them do a quick write each day.

  2. In my classroom I have SURF time. It is Silent Uninterrupted Reading for Fun. This is a 20 minute time that they can read anything they want (doesn't have to be on their reading level) and they can either read a paper book or an article on their iPads!

  3. My students have a reading log too. Last year they just had to write the minutes they read and I've been looking for something like this to make this "assignment" more valuable. These would be great!

  4. My students read a book at their level every single day. I check in with them at least once a week to see if they are reading at their level and working towards their goal.

  5. Like this idea but curious of the time frame. I have to stand and greet students outside my door until first bell. How long did it take to check them all?

  6. I LOVE the visual for reading every night. I think it's so important for kiddo's to read a lot! What better way to grow as a reader?

    XO, Kelly Anne


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