Every time I tell teachers or friends that my kids just read during class, they want to know: Where is the accountability? How do you KNOW your kids are reading? How do you know they're learning what they need to learn from the text? How do you know they're using strategies??
No one EVER asks me: How do you know your kids are growing as readers? or How do you know your kids LOVE reading?
I guess for me, I want to know that my kids are growing as readers. That they love to read, or that they have finally found their Gateway Book, the book that keeps them coming back for more reading experiences. I know so many teachers care about these things, but sometimes our classrooms don't directly reflect them.
Every year I try to improve my craft. I want to get better at what I do, I want to be better for my students and for myself. Taking a look at research, and using best practices in my classroom are two things that are at the center of my growth. There are so many things that I still don't understand, so many things I know I'm not doing the best way, but we keep learning and growing... Right?
After my last post about Setting up the Reader's Notebook, I have planned with my grade level team and started to really look at what will be in our binders. We want to make the items intentional and useful to both us and the kids.
The type of "accountability" I've moved into over these past couple of years uses the help of some materials in our Reader's Notebook. Most of the forms from Reading in the Wild help with this accountability piece. Students track what they're reading, review books, recommend books, make plans for what to read next and work towards our 40 Book Challenge.
I made some new graphic organizers in hopes that they would help students reflect on their day in workshop and make plans for the following day. We will use these this August to get started with workshop and they will be housed in our Reader's Notebooks.
It's also important to mention that my biggest accountability piece with my kids is Conferences. I meet with my kids as much as I can during the week (still perfecting this) and this is a great way for me to know what my kids are reading. Once you get to know your kids, this becomes more natural and the conversations you have with kids are key to seeing how they are feeling about reading and discovering struggles as they arise!
I would LOVE to giveaway a copy, so if you're interested, please follow my blog and comment in this post about your favorite part of the Workshop Model for teaching Reading and/or Writing!