Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reading Logs: where do I stand this year?

Since I started teaching seven years ago, I have gone back and forth on my opinion of reading logs. In the past, I have created logs and then set page amounts and due dates. I have also tried setting tiered goals and having kids choose the level they want to try to attain. Some years, I haven't done reading logs at all. Most recently we have let the kids choose their own goals (we set a minimum each six weeks). I would say of all of the ways I have tried, I'm pleased with this way, but I'm still not satisfied.

When we first introduced the log this year and the idea of selecting goals, we discussed different types of goals that were available, including (but not limited to): page numbers, minutes, award-winners, genres, author studies, etc. I had one girl who was a stand out at picking interesting, original goals. Some of her goals were:
  • books with one-word titles
  • books with food on the cover
  • books with covers that seemed mysterious and to not fit the book before reading
  • books she bought at the book fair
  • Lone Star Award winners

There was one other girl who surprised me by choosing: books where characters have lost a home and then found one in the end. I don't know if she picked this goal initially or if she went back at the end and noticed the commonality and felt obligated to write it, but either way - I don't think it matters. I'm proud of her for noticing that.

But sadly, no one else came close to her at choosing original goals. Is it a developmental thing? Do they just not have ideas for "original" goals? I found when we introduce the minimum expectations each six weeks, the majority of students pick that, which I guess should be a lesson in setting expectations.

Interestingly, for this last six weeks, I did not set a minimum and I was fascinated to see the high goals the kids continued with, despite the lack of expectation. Lots of them had joked that they would write a goal of one chapter or two pages (haha), but nobody actually did.

No comments:

Post a Comment