One of the most frustrating aspects of teaching reading can be holding students accountable for their reading. Some times, the stars align and you get a class of readers with only a few reluctant ones. However, what do you do if you have a whole class or majority of reluctant readers? You have to hold them accountable for their reading to get them to become skilled readers. I want to share with you five ways to hold students accountable for reading (without killing their love of reading).
Status of the Class
This one is super simple and, while it takes time in the beginning, it becomes quick and routine. Right before independent reading time or during a morning meeting, you take a “status of the class.” Basically you check in (quickly) with each student on the book they are reading and what page number they are on. You only write the book they are reading down one time for the week. I would even abbreviate the titles for speed. Each day that the student is reading the same book, you simply record the new page number.
This is a quick way to make sure the students are not abandoning books or not reading enough. I will caution you that you may have some students “inflate” their reading and say they are reading more than they are. However, independent reading conferences will quickly solve this problem. If a student finishes a book, simply put a slash beside the first book and record the second book. Here is a form that I use. You can see on Brody’s section that I recorded his second book title, noted that he finished the first book, and then continued recording the page numbers for his new book. Click here to download the form for FREE.
Independent Reading Conferences
I love independent reading conferences. This gives you and the student a chance to spend about 5 minutes talking about his or her book. I mean, who doesn’t love talking about books? This is your time to check in with the students and build that relationship while also making sure they are reading on a regular basis and reading just right books.
Students love this one the most! They love reading with partners and if your partners are assigned (or chosen by the students) appropriately, they will hold themselves accountable. You may need to spend some time teaching your students how to read with partners. Also, if you want to make this a bit more accountable (other than peer accountability), do some peer independent reading conferences.
Create a Reading Dialogue
This is similar to the independent conferences mentioned above. However, for creating a reading dialogue, I like to use reader’s response journals or blogs to talk with the students about their books and eventually allow them to talk to one another. They can’t participate if they haven’t read because they will have nothing new to bring to the table.
This one is my favorite! I love book talks so much. I can’t even describe the teacher feeling in my heart when a student gets up in the front of the class to talk about and share a book they recently read and loved. When the other students ask the student questions about the book, I melt. Literally. Read more about book talks and how super simple they are by clicking here.
Those are my favorite strategies for keeping my students accountable for their reading without giving them busy work or causing them to begin to dislike reading. These accountability strategies will actually strengthen their love of reading. How do you hold your readers accountable for their reading? Let me know in the comments.