Reading Log for Thinking and Responding


One of the things I have struggled with for much of my teaching career has been the dreaded reading log.  If you read this post (which was one of my first, so you probably didn't ;) ) you know that I just couldn't take the "Mom, sign this" type logs.  My kids weren't reading.  They weren't practicing their skill.  They weren't responding.  They weren't doing much of anything other than wasting paper.  So, many years ago I decided to make a change....and my Reading Log for Thinking and Responding was born. 

It has been going along just splendidly, but I thought that this year, since I am getting more into the inferring and indepth thinking about reading (as evidenced through all of the Core Lit stuff I am doing...and LOVING!) I would add a few more sections to get the kids digging even deeper into their reading.

First, I added a "making inference" section.  The kids need to make an inference but then, and here is my favorite part, they need to prove it with evidence from the story and with their own schema.  I am really, really liking how this section is going in my room.  It just seems to get them reading the text a bit more closely because they *know* they will have to use it to respond.











Another new addition is a "Character Sketch" area.  The kids need to draw a picture of one of the characters and, again, here is my favorite part, they need to describe it using evidence from the story.  Picking out the direct quotes is tricky, but they are getting better at it.  It is really helping them to have this extra practice at home.  I can see it improving in class and on their Reading Logs...so I think that it just might be sinking in! 






I have also been using the logs in class a bit more this year.  Since the students are only using 4 of the 5 sections each night, I have been asking them to use one to respond to our in class discussions and reading.  They usually do this with a partner, and again, it is helping to sink the concepts in. 

So there you have it.  I just wanted to share some of my new additions to the Reading Log that I think have been successful.  Have you had a reading log success as of late?  I would love to hear about it!

19 comments

  1. Not sure where I was when you first posted about this but LOVE this post. We just started reading response letters after Christmas break. I like them...it was a change to what they were doing BUT I like yours more:))) I have struggled in this area too because some kids do a great job and some I can tell (if it's their homework) are blowing me off...worse than that, they are blowing off their reading:/ Gonna have to dig deeper into those and do some planning to incorporate them:) Thanks for sharing:)

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    1. Don't worry about missing the first post. It was literally like my second blog post ever ;) I am glad you are liking this one. It has been SUCH a headache saver for me!

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  2. TOLD you that you were going to love including more core lit!!! And, oh HOW I wish my students completed homework like yours!! LOVE the horse pic - beautiful!

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    1. My kids really are good about completing their homework (with the exception of 2....) I am very grateful for that, as I see homework as SO valuable to my instruction. (I know there are differing opinions on it out there)

      And core lit = awesomeness

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  3. Oh the drreaded reading log is such a pain! I am totally with you as a teacher and a parent that their should be a better way....and it looks like you've foudn it! I am pinning this for later (just in case I go back to teaching reading again) :) Plus...I'm sharing it with my team. My students will benefit!!!

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  4. My most recent reading log success was actually taking my reading logs and giving them a digital makeover. We're giving reading BLOGS a whirl right now and I am loving the new format. It is awesome for two reasons. The children are writing for an authentic audience other than just me, and the sense of community that comes from being able to comment on each other's posts is powerful. If you want to read about our endeavors, check out my post at http://new-in-room-202.blogspot.com/2013/02/from-reading-logs-to-reading-blogs.html. Thanks for sharing, Stacy @ new-inroom-202.blogspot.com

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  5. I have to tell you, I hate reading logs but they are "required" in our school. After playing around with different ideas, I found your reading logs and I purchased it. WOW! What a difference they are making... I teach the strategy, they do the strategy in class, using your templates as a guide. Then for homework, they practice, and practice, and practice! I've been doing this since we returned in January and it has made a huge difference in the quality of the responses! Thank you for helping me and helping my students!

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  6. I own your response log, but wondered if your additions were available anywhere?? Also, can you tell me more about the Cor Lit?

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  7. Hi! I'm your newest follower. I found your blog on TBA linky parties and am so glad I did! I'm new to teaching 5th grade and think your posts are going to be very helpful for me. Thank you for sharing with us. :)

    ~Amanda

    Elementary Teacher Files 

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  8. I do something SOOO similar to this! I will post about it next week and we can compare. I would love to get your feedback.

    Tina
    Crofts' Classroom

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  9. As a parent, I hated the reading log. I thought my child is reading every night, why do I need to write this down? When I became a teacher, I thought I need to know my students ARE actually reading. I see such huge growth in students who commit to read at least 20 minutes every night! I love the logs you have created. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Christina
    cowansprekcaterpillars.blogspot.com

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  10. Wow, so glad I found your site. I too, have struggled with reading logs. I needed my students to dig deeper and really think about the text holistically. This is a great resource that I will be using this school year. Thanks for your wealth of knowledge!

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  11. Do you have students do one section a night or multiple sections a night?

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    1. My students do one section per night.

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  12. Veey cool Tamara. You have my support all the way from Boone and DC.

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  13. I am looking to revamp my reading logs. I want to see more application of skills with their own reading and this looks incredible!! From the other comments, I see that they complete one section a night, so it saves paper, perfect! Also it must encourage them to actually finish a book, so there isn't so much book hopping. Do the skills you have on there seem to work with Informational books, too? Not all of mine read novels every night.

    This makes me giddy, thanks so much!! :D

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  14. Hola! I simply LOVE this! I purchased your reading logs but didn't realize that they were in PDF format. I am a Spanish immersion teacher and would really love to get the Word documents so that I can translate them into Spanish. If you like, I can even email the translations back to you to sell! Would there be any way that I can get the Word documents?

    Again, I LOVE this!

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  15. Hola! I simply LOVE this! I purchased your reading logs but didn't realize that they were in PDF format. I am a Spanish immersion teacher and would really love to get the Word documents so that I can translate them into Spanish. If you like, I can even email the translations back to you to sell! Would there be any way that I can get the Word documents? My email is muriel1986@yahoo.com.

    Again, I LOVE this!

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