Happy readers are what happens when you stop using reading logs

 Have I ever told you how much I hated reading logs?  When my kids were little and I was supposed to sign them every day (!) I would get annoyed.  My kids were readers and honestly, I didn't care whether they read for X minutes every day or curled up with a book on a Sunday afternoon.

So, you can imagine I wasn't a fan of making my students fill out logs.  But what's a teacher to do?  Find a way to keep your readers happy and STOP using reading logs!

In the years when I had longer class periods, I would talk to students individually about the books they were reading.  Sometimes, I'd pull together a small group of students to talk about their books around a particular comprehension skill, even though they were all reading different books.  
Students sitting on the floor discussing books
Other times students would get into small groups to talk to each other about their books with each other.

And then sometimes, I would have them complete this Reading log alternative.  I created this for them to come up with fun ways that they might read.  Students came up with most of the ideas that are each of the leaves!
Cover of a Reading log alternative product
What does it involve?
My district didn't have a Fall break but I know lots of schools do.  That might be the perfect time to have students do this.  Even if they travel, it's easy to take a book or an e-reader along (and their parents might really appreciate it!)

All you need to do is print and staple copies, and hand them out.  Decide with your students what each leaf is worth in terms of time.  I told my 6th graders that each leaf was worth about 30 minutes but I wasn't going to quibble over time.  I just wanted them to enjoy the book.
Individual leaves, each with a reading suggestion on them                                                     Picture of a tree included in the product                                                      

  1. When they have completed one of the suggestions, they color, cut, and glue or tape the leaf onto the tree.
  2. On the day when they turn in their trees, collect them for a bulletin board.  THAT'S A WIN-WIN!
  3. We would also celebrate by "curling up with a book" and reading for the class period.  Usually, apple cider and pretzels or popcorn were part of the celebration.
Suggestions might be things like:
  • read on the floor
  • read in your pajamas
  • read while eating a snack
  • read in the bathtub
Basically, they're all pretty easy to do!  And if a kid only wants to read in the bathtub every time, who cares?  I certainly didn't - they were reading after all!

If you'd prefer one with a Thanksgiving theme instead, click here.
Thanksgiving Reading Log alternative

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