How do you teach kids to LOVE reading independently while simultaneously keeping them accountable for their work time while also simultaneously making sure they're comprehending what they're reading? Whew.
First Step: Ditch the Reading Logs. Yep, you read that right.
Nothing takes the joy out of reading like the dreaded reading logs. You know the ones. The ones where students have to write down the title, author, date, and how many pages they read that day of that book. Why do we do this? Do teachers actually look at them and get accurate information from them? Plus, when was the last time as an adult that I filled one out to track my reading? Personally, I use GoodReads to do that. It's digital, it's fast, it's visual, and I'm not recording every single detail. That takes the joy out of it all!
So what to use in place of that? How do we know students are completing the books they read? How do we know they're understanding them? Many schools use Accelerated Reader (including mine) and it works well for a lot of kids. Not all, but many are motivated by it. I don't mind it, but it's not my end-all-be-all for reading comprehension.
This year I started using Flipgrid during my workshop time and it's taken off with my students. For their own privacy I'm not going to share our class's personal grid, but I'll explain and give details as to why and how I use it during this time of my day.
During our workshop time, students always read to self at some point. I thought instead of reading logs, which no one except the student/teacher/parent sees, why not make sharing what we're reading more social? Why not provide a platform to students to recommend and review books? Now, THAT we do continuously as adults!
Create and share a Grid! Use flipgrid.com to create a free account. Create a topic within that Grid. Ours is titled "2K Reads" but you could use Reviews, Recommendations, Book Talks, etc. in your title. You'll be provided with a Grid Code after it's set up. This is will be how students will access your grid topic. Share it out with students in a variety of ways: share the code, provide the link, embed the grid topic on a website or LMS.
MODEL what it looks like! Have a few example videos of you and other teachers sharing book reviews/recommendations on the Grid. Here's what my students are required to share:
ALSO, model how to REACT to videos. This emoji reaction guide by Sean Fahey is stellar for teaching students what they mean and when to select them.
Let your students start sharing!! Reading is social and students should be given a platform to share what they're reading and why they love it. 75% of the books I read are recommended by bloggers I follow, podcasts I listen to, friends I love, + librarians I've connected with. Chances are, that reluctant reader is reluctant because he hasn't found the right books that interest him yet.
Here are some other ways to go past only using Flipgrid for Readers Workshop reflection + accountability: