Reading Logs 101
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
One of the ways my students document their reading is through reading logs. Yes, I do conference with my students and use their reading notebooks as an artifact of authentic growth of their reading, but it is also a requirement that they keep track of their reading at home and in school.
Those students who are serious and dedicated to their reading show the most growth throughout the year. In a nutshell, they get it. They take ownership, are accountable, and are active participants in their reading journey. They treat their reading logs as precious tools that aid them in their growth.
On the other hand, those students who are shall we say, "less connected to reading” or “going through the motions” tend to show little or no growth in their reading levels. These students are the ones that we try to convince and demonstrate the value of authentic reading.
Reading logs provide valuable research for teachers as well as students. Students are able to set reading goals using information from their reading logs. Examining their logs, students can determine their volume and stamina, as well as what genres they are drawn to.
I often change up the reading log I use in class when I notice a decline in students completing and handing in their logs. My students have been instrumental in creating or even modifying the logs we use in class. I would love to say that student-designed logs have a greater success rate, but it seems those students who are going to read do, and those who struggle tend to avoid the process.
I am still hopeful and continue to devote time and energy to this process. I do exchange reading log templates with my colleagues to change up the pace. We select from each other's forms and then alter them to fit the needs of our own students. The templates below are ones I have used over the years. If there is one that has worked for your students, please share! I am still on a journey for the perfect template.
Pearls of Wisdom — Use your personal reading journey as a model for your students. Keep a log throughout the year (starting with this summer!) to document your reading. I will be logging my summer reading to share with my new class in September.