MOVING BEYOND THE READING LOG
Just as we encourage our students to abandon books that are not working for them, as teachers we need the same encouragement to abandon literacy practices that are not moving our students towards becoming engaged lifelong readers. The use of reading logs is one of these practices.
There is an abundance of research to support the idea that reading logs do more harm than good and can actually decrease our students’ motivation to read. If our goal is to inspire and engage readers, then we need routines and practices that encourage students to choose books that are interesting to them, to talk about those books and their experiences with them with others, and to authentically share their joys, struggles, and the ways they are moving forward as readers.
If you are interested in ditching those reading logs and trying out a new practice, here are some ideas:
- Alice Keeler’s “Six Alternatives to Reading Logs”
- Book Source Banter’s “8 Alternatives to Reading Logs for Holding Students Accountable During Independent Reading”
- Angela Watson’s “10 Authentic Ways to Hold Students Accountable for Home Reading”
- Pernille Ripp’s “How I Know My Students Are Reading at Home”
- Create a “Just Read” wall in your classroom where you post pictures of students with their most recently read book. Under each photo could be a quote from the student about the book.
- Take a picture of the student with their book to paste in their Readers’ Notebook
- Create a Class Book Recommendation Instagram account where you take a photo of the student with each book they finish and include a quote from them about the book. You could also go one step further and encourage students to post a 30 second Book Talk as a video on the account or a video recommendation QR Code to paste inside the book cover for your classroom library.
- Encourage your students create their own social media reading page and/or to correspond with authors on Twitter or Instagram, sharing their experience or asking questions about the book.
For additional reading and research, here are a few more articles to check out if you want to learn more:
Pernille Ripp: “Before You Assign a Reading Log”
Pernille Ripp: “On Reading Logs”
Pernille Ripp “Let’s Talk About Reading Logs Again”
Allie Thrower: “Ditching the Reading Logs”
Erica Reischer: “Can Reading Logs Ruin Reading for Kids?”