Many teachers use reading logs in the classroom and as homework assignments to encourage reading and comprehension among their students. But reading logs are often done individually, and cannot easily be shared by fellow students. Kids often complain about them, and they can actually become counter-productive.
Here a few tips on how to make reading logs fun:
- Use an online reading log program like Reading Rewards. Keep everything centralized, no more lost or forgotten homework!
- Set daily or weekly reading targets, and reward your students when they reach them. Rewards do not have to be expensive in order to be effective! One male teacher we know of rewarded his students by wearing a dress for a day when his class reached his target! You could also hold a raffle at the end of your reading challenge, and have kids earn a ticket every time they reach their daily reading target. Using the Reading Rewards program, kids earn RR Miles with their reading minutes. Teachers can then set up an ‘RR Store’ for their students, where kids purchase their rewards with their points. Here are some great examples of rewards teachers have set up:
- Share your students’ book lists and reviews with the class. Kids enjoy learning about what their classmates are reading, and these can be a great source of book recommendations.
- Make things a little competitive! Set up a reading race, and see who reaches the finish line first! Have your students ‘advance’ in the race for every 10 minutes of logged reading time. This is a great way to encourage reading! On Reading Rewards, we’ve set up an Easter Egg Reading Race this week. Kids get 1 egg for every 10 minutes of reading time, with winners announced at the end of the week!
- Suggest or choose books for your students that are appropriate for their age-level and interest. If your readers are particularly reluctant, choosing books from any one of numerous ‘Books for Reluctant Readers’ lists could be helpful.
- Make sure you review your reading targets and rewards often. If you’ve set your targets too high, kids who are unable to reach them might quickly get discouraged, despite any rewards you may have set up. Think about your travel rewards programs, and how long it takes you to earn those flights. Not much of an incentive to using that credit card, are they? Small but reasonably attainable incentives work best. Reward small, but often, at least at first.
What about you? Have you used reading logs in your classroom? Do your students enjoy them? What, if anything, have you done to make them more fun? We’d love to hear from you!