Blogs About Reading
Sound It Out
Along with her background as a researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.
Reading logs, reading blahs
Many of us are back to school by now. And for most of us, that means daily reading logs, where a parent signs a log each night confirming that her child has read at home that day. For us, we're on day five, and we're already a little bored.
In the spirit of starting the year off on the right foot, here are a few ideas (hopes? hints?) for teachers and parents that may make reading logs more useful, interesting, and exciting.
I'd love to hear from teachers and parents about reading logs — what has worked for you, and what hasn't?
Make sure kids have access to good books. School, classroom, and public libraries are all good resources. When possible, kids should be able to check out and return books more frequently than once a week.
Evaluate your reading log. Does the structure of it place unnecessary value on pages read? Minutes read? Ask yourself what you value about reading and whether it's reflected on your form.
Use reading logs as a way extend exposure to an author or illustrator being studied at school. Consider providing a list of books by the same author or illustrator.
Make sure parents know and use some variation of the five finger or the Goldilocks rule for difficulty. The reading done at home should be at a child's independent level (95-100% accuracy).
Is there an interesting science or social studies unit going on in the classroom? Help kids find good books on related themes (example here) to keep the school conversation happening at home too.
Honor the work the kids are doing by reading at home. Engage them in a conversation about what they've been reading, what they've liked and what they didn't.