Summer Reading | Mentoring in the Middle

Summer Reading

I know we're not there yet.  But we're close!  Only six and a half days left; the kids are getting restless and encouraging them to get out their books and read isn't nearly as exciting as it was for most of the year.  And then, along comes Franki Sibberson, in the Choice Literacy newsletter, with a great idea about how she gets kids thinking about what they might want to read over the summer.

I have my students keep a reading log all year long.  They know it has to be in their binder at all times, and that I randomly check it about once a month.  They record the book title, the author, and the genre, and the date when they finished or quit reading the book.  If they finish it they get to rate it and number the book (the first book they finish is #1, etc.)  At the end of the year, we count how many books our entire team has read in each genre and how many total.

Last year, students read 1,531 books with fantasy and realistic fiction being the biggest draws.  The goal this year is to see if we can beat that.  I don't really care whether or not we do, but some kids like the challenge of trying to compete with other kids.  I don't have a picture of the log - I searched everywhere for it, but it's on my computer at school.  So you'll have to imagine them, some pristine, some several pages long, some almost shredded, and some rewritten ("Oh, no!  I lost mine!")

But, what Franki wrote about was how she gets her kids to sit in a circle and share with each other a particular book that grabbed them this year.  Not one of the more popular, well-read books, but one that kids might not know as much about.  And she said her kids sit there writing down the titles of books they might want to try.  So I told my students we'd do the same thing.  They could use their logs or their journals to help them select a book.

I created this sheet to help them.
You can download it for free at either my TpT or TN stores.  I love that my kids will get one last chance to talk about books, and you know how much they listen to each other's recommendations.  Then, when we're finished, we'll count, figure out percentages, and create a 2012-2013 poster worthy of holding up as a challenge to next year's team.  And they each get a list of books that they might want to check out of the public library.

Win-Win!  Thank you, Franki, for a suggestion that I'm eager to try next week!

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