As the first weeks of school are under way, I find many teachers are talking about reading logs for students. A reading log can help students to keep track of what they read and other useful information. I’ve had students keep reading logs for a variety of reasons. This year, I am going to have my students keep two reading logs: one at home and one at school.
At Home Reading Log
As part of students’ nightly homework, I want them to get into the routine of reading for 15+ minutes. My fourth grade team of teachers and I designed a reading log where students can keep simple track of what and how much they read at home. The columns which need to be completed each night are seen on the table. We included the weekend along with the four homework nights and required that students read 90+ minutes each week. That way, if a student can’t get to reading one night because of other commitments (let’s face it, it happens!), they can make up the time another night. The completed log is due on Friday morning.
|Date||Book Title||Author||Genre||Minutes Read||Parent’s Initials|
Sidenote: We also have included a math log on the same take-home sheet, where students log how many minutes they practice their math facts each night and what type of activity they do. Parents need to initial this as well.
In-School Reading Log
The in-school reading log will be much more involved as we will be monitoring our students and using this reading log as a formative assessment. We are starting our school year with a focus on comprehension strategies and so we are customizing the log so that students can focus their attention to what they are thinking as they read. As we progress through the year, our hope is to modify the reading log to our needs and the students’ studies. For example, when we start learning about story elements, there may be more specific reflection on that.
|Date||Book Title||Author||Genre||Comments/Reflections/Thoughts||Questions/Things that need Clarification||Strategy Used|
Reading Log Variations
There are SO many ready-made reading logs out there. Certainly you can find something that will do the trick, but I like the idea of creating my own. By simply creating and manipulating a table in a Word or Google Document, you can customize a reading log that can fit your students’ needs. Here are some other ideas for categories or columns you may add:
- Notate whether a book is too easy, too difficult or just right.
- Tell if you enjoyed the book and briefly state if you would recommend it to a friend.
- State whether you read the book, if the book was read to you or if you partner read it.
- Write a short summary of what your read.
- Write a quick prediction of what’s to come.
The purpose of a reading log is for students to become aware of what they are reading, how much they are reading, keep track of their thinking and see how their reading and thinking has improved over the course of time. I used to think it was enough to just write in the daily planners for students to read at home or enough to give students sustained silent reading time in class, but now I think differently. By keeping students accountable for these things in writing, they become more responsible for their own learning. And that can only help them grow as readers!
What other ideas do you have for reading logs? Please share!