A frequent question I get while speaking to other educators is what does your reader’s notebook look like? I usually don’t have a good answer because much like for many others it is a work in progress, every single year. This year, however, it feels a little more solid as the year gets underway and we use the tools we have used previously with a few small tweaks added as we need them.
So what can you find in a student’s reader’s notebook this year? In order, you will find…
Our To-Be-Read List
This is the very first page, hand-drawn by students, and used every single time we bookshop or have book talks. Part of my check-in conferences means I peak at their to-be-read lists as well to say what they have on dock for their reading experiences. All the list says is the title, author, and genre which just means where they can find the book. This is on page 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Our Who Are You as a Reader Quarter 1 Survey
This simple survey gets glued to page 5 as a way for me to see where they start the year as far as the relationship with reading. As we re-take the survey throughout the year, the will be glued in after it (I screwed this up and did not leave pages for this so this year the rest will be glued in on the back pages).
Our Reading Challenge for the Year
On page 6 and 7 you will find our reading challenge documents as well as their personal reading goals for the year. This is what we confer about for their first reading check-in.
Reading Rate Tracker
Inspired by Penny Kittle, we do a reading rate tracker once in a while to see how many pages a student should be reading every week or so if we ask them to read at least two hours outside of class. This is glued in on page 8. This helps us with the reading data we gather in class as students study their habits, set goals, and also increase their reading.
Books I have Finished
On page 9, we have another hand-written page simply titled “Books I have finished.” This is where students write down any titles they finish.
Reading Response Pages
Then we have the rest of pages for reading response and anything else we need. We did not want to tab out sections beforehand because we always get the section needs incorrect, which my smart colleague, Reidun reminded me of. Instead, we plan on tabbing as we need to. I will say though that we do not write a lot of reading responses. These are one of the top reasons students report hating to read, so we are very picky about when and what we have them write about to discuss their reading in their notebooks.
So there you have it. Nothing too fancy, but it works for us for now. We will add sections as we need them.