K-2 Monitoring independent reading

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by LovetoteachPREK, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

    Mar 30, 2011
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    Dec 23, 2015

    Hi! I am a big fan of letting kids have a lot of independent reading time, and much of the research I've seen supports it. However, I am now seeing that unmonitored independent reading is not as effective. For example, you might have some kids who are reading books beyond or below their level or not challenging themselves or trying new genres, etc.

    Does anyone have a great way to monitor independent reading? I don't want to do a reading log and I don't want to turn reading into a chore, but I do want them to be accountable for how they are spending this time. I have thought about doing a response journal, but I am worried they are too young.
  3. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

    Aug 30, 2006
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    Dec 26, 2015

    When I taught 2nd grade, I had a tree and a basket of leaves. Once a child read a book they wrote a short report on their book. I had a line for the author and title and then a spot to tell what the problem and solution was. The leaves weren't that big, so they didn't have to write a lot. The tree was just a paper tree in the corner of the room. By May, it was completely covered. The kids loved it.
    bella84, Backroads and Obadiah like this.
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Jun 14, 2013
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    Dec 27, 2015

    Not a total solution, but have you done lessons to show how to pick a right-fit book? I've found this really needs to be modeled, even in upper elementary.
    Obadiah likes this.
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Jul 27, 2015
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    Dec 27, 2015

    I agree with the above posts. In addition, I've read research that indicates students often tend to gravitate toward books that are within their reading/interest level. What might seem a bit high or low to us, even after we evaluate the text through a level indicating scale, might be a good fit for that student. I know I've evaluated books as being several grade levels ahead but because of a high interest level and good illustrations or clear textual content, they seemed to still fit the students' ability level. (But as I said, I also agree with generally guiding students towards a specified reading level). I've also observed that sometimes students will not read an entire book, just glean from it what interests them, and I don't think this exploration is harmful, either, but instead I find it beneficial especially for more difficult material. What seems like a small effort to an adult, to a child's brain it is a major accomplishment. I've also seen some students buddy read through an advanced book. Interestingly enough, this seemed to occur during non-classroom times, such as in the bus room before and after school.
    Backroads and otterpop like this.
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Jul 7, 2005
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    Dec 28, 2015

    When I taught second, I had students complete very basic book reports. I used sentence starters and they had to tell whether the book was fiction or nonfiction. Depending on the type of text, they had to answer a few questions on the book. Students could just answer the questions about the book before I'd sign off on their book report log. The kids had some accountability but didn't always have to write.
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Sep 18, 2007
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    Jan 3, 2016

    I think this speaks to the importance of teaching students to choose books appropriate for them. This means teaching, and then possibly returning back to reteach it...I actually monitor my students when they are "book shopping" to help make sure the books they choose are a good fit.

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