Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Focus: Keeping Kids Accountable

*I've been sharing since January about my goal to build a better independent reading time! You can check out all of the previous posts {here}

Even when things are going well, and kids seem engage, I think most teachers still wonder, "Are they really doing what they are supposed to?" I think we wonder that for a good reason, because there is always the kid or two that is not staying on track AND we want to make sure that the kids know that we are holding them accountable. 

I have thought about reading logs and reading response sheets etc, but at this point, I want to make sure my first graders are READING. I don't want the reading log or response sheets to overtake our reading time. I don't want them to get frustrated with trying to record a book that it takes away from the joys of reading. So how to hold them accountable?

About once a week I do some "kid watching" instead of conferencing. Every 4-5 minutes I mark up what I noticed the kids doing. You can easily create your own code and form to do some noticing about your kid's reading habits.

After one particular kid watching time, I had noticed that there was a lot of non-reading going on. While I do have some kids that still do some picture reading, I was seeing a lot of major page flipping, and reading books way to fast. I had seen a similar heading on pinterest, so at the end of our read to self time, we made this anchor chart together about Fake Reading vs. Real Reading. 

The kids were able to come up with good descriptors of both and it has been a good reminder about what our reading time should look like. 

On a side note, I love the debriefing time we have at the end of our independent reading. It is usually me just pointing out something good I noticed in the readers that day, but it really encourages the kids when I highlight them. They sit up a little taller. My mini lessons needs some work though, and debriefing could be more student led... maybe the next focus in our independent reading time? ;)

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