Now, I can't take credit for all the ideas in this post. My awesome team members came up with some great ideas to try this year, so I'll make sure I give them credit where credit's due.
Instilling a Sense of Urgency and Importance#1Class Read Aloud Book Log
My teammate had the idea to record our class read alouds on a book log for a few reasons. 1) As a daily reminder on how to fill out the book log so that when students do it independently, it becomes very natural and clear. 2) It allows me to "practice what I preach" 3) It's fun to look at how we get through books and to reflect on our reading life as a class. So I created my own book log where we will record our reading of read alouds.
#2 Individual Book Logs
Not only did I change my layout of my book log for students this year, but also my attitude towards it. In the past, students had to turn in their book log every week on Fridays with parent initials. I found a lot of times that students either didn't turn it in or families just 'fudged' the minutes read because they didn't want their child to get in trouble. This goes against one of our ways to make reading the "best" it can be: be honest about your reading. So I took off parent initials and no longer require students to turn in their log on a weekly basis. I'm hoping that by doing this, students really decide to take their reading lives into their own hands and want to fill it out because they see value in it. Now, I'll still take notes on those who don't bring it to and from school (that's new too- I'm only having one log for both school and home as opposed to one for school and one for home) and those who don't do it, well then I need to find out why and help support them. But I'm hoping that this new approach will instill urgency within themselves as opposed to pressure from me or their families.
|Here's my log for this first unit of study. They just got these last week so we'll see how the first week goes with them.|
To really drive home the urgency and importance of this log, I created a visual rubric that I'm going to reference all the time.
When I showcased and explained this last week, they were so excited to become apple trees (you'll get it a little later). One of our PDs at the beginning of the school year was to create rubrics for different things introduced and assessed in this first unit and (for once) I remembered to pull that out and put it to use and am SO glad I did. I'm banking on this tool and my class book log to motivate students to fill theirs out. Since we are going with the "thriving and growing" theme this year, and the fact we study seeds in science, I used the seed analogy as a scale as opposed to numbers.
It's funny how after just one day logged, students thought they were a tree or apple tree already. So we talked a lot about what a "tree" log would look like vs. a "seedling" log or an "apple" log. We'll revisit it often and I hope to use our class log as an exemplar.
Call me hopeful (or maybe just plain crazy) but fingers crossed that this new approach to my book log will only help strengthen my students in their reading and begin to foster a love of it.