I read a great post a few weeks back on Forever in 1st's blog talking about how we don't need to make reading a chore for kids. Instead of requiring projects and reports for kiddos we need to find ways for them to respond to literature in similar ways we do as adults. When I'm reading a great book I'll discuss it with my friends (read to someone) I'll make connections to the story (build my comprehension) and sometimes highlight or take notes.
When I first started Daily 5 I was afraid to "require" anything of my students from it. I wanted it to be real, authentic and student driven. Sure at the beginning we'd share successes ("I read the whole time!") or things to work on ("Next time I don't need to sit by my friend because we talked instead of reading"). But as the school year wore on this was something that faded away. Less time and more things to do caused this activity to get pushed to the side.
It all clicked when a "demo" teacher in the district came into my room to do a model lesson for our grade level. She was teaching a lesson on making inferences and then before she let them go into D5 she said "Okay, be sure to practice making inferences while you are in Daily 5 today!" Easy. As. Pie. and guess what --- they actually did!! And she had them share after what inferences they made from the books they had read. Before this, I had never made the connection of letting students share academic successes instead of just behavioral ones.
What blew me away was two kiddos doing listening to reading on the CD player were PAUSING THE CD TO MAKE INFERENCES! Incredible what the kiddos will do when they are given a little instruction. So from there I began saying the same thing with whatever comprehension strategy we'd just talked about. And then remembering to take time to have them share their academic and behavioral successes. I saw such an improvement in my kiddo's depth and understanding of what they were reading. Plus, it was added accountability for my kiddos since they knew they'd be given the chance to share after we finished each round of D5.
A few weeks later I accidently created "Reading Response Journals". My teammates and I had put some sort of response activity on the plans but hadn't prepped it and subsequently had forgotten what the activity was suppose to be. Enter simple and quick Reading Response Journals!
We took a few minutes creating a fun cover page with crayons and drawings (gotta build their interest in it!) before creating our first entry. I modeled it for the students before sending them out to do it on their own. It was simple - included the title of the book, date and a hand-drawn graphic organizer.
The kids loved it. They were so excited to find most all the books had a chance for them to practice this new found comprehension skill. And some even began asking if they could work on their reading response journals in the morning (which of course I said an enthusiastic YES!). The best thing about these journals is they can be used for read to self, read to someone or listening to reading. Each week I'd show them how to do the newest graphic organizer for the comprehension strategy and send them out to practice.
I'm excited to start the year off with this idea. I'm thinking I'll have anchor charts in the room as we add different type of graphic organizers for the various comprehension strategies so kiddos can refer back to them.
I couldn't believe how well it worked. A simple notebook + simple post D5 sharing session created a huge measure of accountability for my kiddos. I saw students engaged in meaningful discussions with their partner when they did the reading response journals together. More bang for your buck with listen to reading. And it was authentic - no need for worksheets or projects. They were just making notes and sharing their discoveries with friends!
How do you provide accountability for your students when they are working independently?