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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Workshop Wednesday (Students Track their Reading)

  I am linking up with the one and only Jivey, for her Workshop Wednesday linky.  The topic for August and September is getting workshop started in the classroom.  There are link ups for reading, writing, and math workshop ideas open for both months!
We just finished Day 5 of school and it feels like...summer vacation? What summer vacation!  Haha!  Seriously, it has been super busy in my three 80 minute ELA blocks learning routines and expectations.  We have been focusing a lot of time on Good Fit books and making sure everyone is reading for at least 15 minutes each night.  Accelerated Reading is up and running and many students have already finished books and taken tests.  The students have been super excited with their reading and I am getting so many students telling me what they read the night before or how many books they have finished.  They are so proud (as am I)!

I've said before that the students' independent reading of Good Fit books is one of, if not THE most important part of the 4th grade ELA program.  It takes a little while to get started and some of my struggling readers are not buying it yet.  They are trying to "play" the system (I forgot my book at home, trying to "read" three books at the same time, etc.).  In the end though, all the time and frustration  is so worth it!

One way I have students in Reader's workshop manage their own independent reading progress is by completing these "Books I've Read" and "Books I Want to Read" recording papers.  If you would like a copy that I typed up as a freebie, check out the "Fans Only" tab on my facebook page!

I copy them on two different colored papers.  The students receive two "Books I've Read" copied on the front and back and one "Books I Want to Read".  We keep the papers in the prong part of the individual folders.  I love placing them here because they STAY here all year long and are easily accessible.  Note: Students do NOT know they correct way to use prongs in folders.  Every year it is a step-by-step process teaching them!

 Each folder is labeled with the matching number and letter of the students' book boxes (the letter stands for the section of ELA).
I also include  a "genre overview" in this section where the students can refer to the abbreviations for different genres to record on their papers.   I cannot find where I downloaded this handout because it was on my old computer before the hard drive crashed.  This was one file that was not backed up.  Some of the abbreviations are:  F is for fantasy, RF for realistic fiction, HF for historical fiction, M for mystery, SF for science fiction, TL for traditional literature, AB for autobiography, B for biography, and I for informational text.
 All the students have also completed this Reading Interest Inventory by Head Over Heels for Teaching.  We completed it together as a class, discussing each question.  There were no sentences required because how they choose to write their answers is a great indicator by itself!  I wanted to see what they wrote for some of the answers independently first and in the next week or so I will be meeting with each student individually to discuss their answers and have them read a page from their good fit book to me.  This is an example of a lower reading level student's answers:
Here is a higher reading level student's answers:
I am looking forward to checking out more Reader's and Writer's Workshop ideas at Ideas by Jivey!  By the way, have you checked out Jivey's amazing favorite things giveaway?

Thank you for all the responses on my post searching for new pen pals yesterday.  This was my update:
UPDATE:  Thank you so much everyone!!!  I paired up with my first response of 4th graders that matched my numbers!!  Guess who?  It is Jivey from Ideas by Jivey and Gary from Scrappy Guy Desgins!!!  Did you know they work together on the same team?  I didn't! Lol! :)  I am super excited and will email those who expressed interest below to checkout some of the comments and send emails to others who may be interested too.  Please feel free to add your comment below if you are looking for a pen pal.  Someone may stop by and check it out!  If you get matched up, you could write that in the "reply" box.  Good luck matching up and thanks again for your support!


  1. I think the genre overview might be from Beth Newingham. I downloaded something similar from her sight years ago. :)

  2. Ugh, that spelling error is really bothering me. *site

  3. I did a lesson last week with each 4th grade class about finding good fit books. Hopefully with this being year 2 of the whole school doing Daily 5 and CAFE, we'll see students start to remember strategies from last year and carry them over!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
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  4. I use a Reading Log and a Books I want to read log. The other log I use is Abandoned Books log. It helps me teach them how to track why they are abandoning books.
    I'm glad you were able to find your Pen Pals!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  5. I love how on the higher leveled student they said they own "278" books at home! What an exacting number. :) Sounds like something I would have done in 4th grade.

  6. Love all your tools that you use to keep those kiddos straight! :) Thanks so much for linking up! :)