Question Detail

How do you keep middle school readers accountable?

Mar 3, 2014 7:17pm

I teach 6th grade, and I'm looking for new ways to keep my readers accountable. Any ideas? Thank you!

  • English Language Arts
  • 6

8

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    • Mar 5, 2014 8:51am

      One way that has worked for me is to have students create a page in their reader's notebook (composition book or spiral notebook) to record what they think as they read. We split the page into four sections, and in each section write a different stem such as "I noticed that...," "I wonder...," "I couldn't believe when...," or "I think...." At the end of each reading session (in school or at home), students complete at least 2 of the comments. They include the date after each entry so I know when they made the entry. If students come up with a different comment, I encourage them to create a new box on a new page. The next class period, I can quickly check the entries and visit with students on their notes. If we're reading the book as a class, students use their comments in small group discussions. This technique is adapted from Cris Tovani's I Read it, but I Don't Get It. (an awesome resource for all grades!)

      • Mar 16, 2014 6:14pm

        I am blessed that I get to teach ELA in an 82 minute block. My beginning of the class routine is essential for keeping my 7th graders accountable for their independent reading:

        1. Status of the Class - Each marking period, the students get a chart that has a box for each school day in the marking period. As soon as they walk into class, they take out these Weekly Reading Goal sheets, and fill the the number of pages they read the night before. Then, they announce their number to the class so I can record their progress on my own form. Every Friday, they add up the number of pages they read that week to see if they met their individual weekly reading goal (which we calculate at the beginning of each marking period). This is a weekly grade, and students who meet their goal each week also get to submit their name into the drawing for the grand prize - a trip to Barnes & Noble and a free book.

        2. Book Talk - Every day I do a book talk for one of the books in my classroom library. The books that I talk about are the ones that get signed out the most...it's as simple as that.

        3. 15-20 minutes of independent reading - While the students are reading, I go around to have reading conferences with them. It's a way to check to see if they are actually reading as much as they report they are, as well as an opportunity to teach them strategies good readers use. I usually get to 4 students each period.

        Great Resources:
        Book Love, by Penny Kittle
        The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller
        In the Middle, by Nancy Atwell

        • Apr 12, 2014 7:49am

          I use Penzu to post reading response assignments tied in with skills we cover in class. So if we're talking about figurative language, for example, then as students read they're looking for examples of figurative language in their books. That and plenty of independent reading time (30-45min).

          • Apr 12, 2014 4:31pm

            I teach 8th grade and often hear from parents at the beginning of the year that their child hates to read. They are always surprised and feel like they are "cheating" when I encourage that their child to read nonfiction. Stock your classrooms with Guinness Book of World records, Ripley's Believe it or not, biographies of sports stars and celebrities, gross facts, Zoobooks, Sports Illustrated for kids, How To books. Invest in some of these and change your mindset that "reading" means chapter books. The boys will be begging for independent reading time.

            • Aug 13, 2014 7:17pm

              You might check out my iOS reading log app- YOU-LOG Reading at http://you-log,com

              Readers can:

              - add new books by Google search, bar code scan, or manual entry

              - keep track of the minutes, pages, and genres they read each day with color-coded bar graphs & pie charts.

              - set reading goals and monitor progress.

              - write book notes and then share them via email & text msg

              Mark Butler

              5th Grade Teacher & Software Developer

              • Mar 15, 2014 12:38pm

                I have been trying to figure out the same thing. I am trying to encourage my students to develop a passion for reading. I have noticed in the past that my dedicated readers often forgot to fill out their home reading records and get them signed. My non-readers didn't read but filled in their sheets. This year I decided to just assign the reading and expect that they will do it as they get to choose what they read. It's somewhat unnatural to fill in a form after you have read. Unfortunately, I know that some of my students aren't doing their home reading. I like the suggestion listed above...I am going to try it out for the next couple of week and then maybe change things up.

                • Apr 12, 2014 8:16am

                  Thank you all! I truly appreciate your thoughts and ideas. I can't wait for next year so I can set up solid expectations immediately! :)

                  • Aug 13, 2014 7:19pm

                    You might check out my iOS reading log app- YOU-LOG Reading at http://you-log,com

                    Readers can:

                    - add new books by Google search, bar code scan, or manual entry

                    - keep track of the minutes, pages, and genres they read each day with color-coded bar graphs & pie charts.

                    - set reading goals and monitor progress.

                    - write book notes and then share them via email & text msg

                    Mark Butler

                    5th Grade Teacher & Software Developer