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Student Ownership: Reading Binders

booksI’ve always loved the beginning of school because I love thinking of what’s possible and figuring out how to get there. While I’m not in the classroom anymore, I’m lucky enough to work with teachers who are, so I get to envision what’s possible with them and how to get there.

Yesterday, I had a meeting with two teachers where we discussed Reading Binders. This year the teachers want to focus on student ownership in reading as well as ways to collect authentic data that will target their instruction with students. One of the teachers read the book Day by Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop (Grades 3-6) by Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak this summer and wanted to incorporate elements from the book into her second-grade classroom. One such element is the Reading Binder. In the Reading Binders students will keep track of their own reading, goals, mini-lessons and reading reflections. In our conversations, we discussed ways to use reading logs not as an accountability measure but as a way for students to learn about their reading habits. We decided that the teachers will also keep reading logs—one from all the class readings and another for their own reading.

We also discussed ways to support students’ goal generation. Instead of waiting until the running record assessments were complete and “guiding” students toward a goal we decided to have students brainstorm some things they were working on last year or behaviors they mastered last year that they thought they might want to focus on in the beginning of second-grade to build momentum.

Finally, we discussed ways to introduce different types of reading responses and reflections. We discussed giving students the opportunity to respond and reflect without much direction and then generating anchor charts (with sentence stems or topics) based on what the students actually said or wrote. 

The reading logs, goal generation, and reading responses that students complete will provide rich data from which the teachers can glean insights into students reading. These three ideas were integral to the process of figuring out—how to get to what we envision—a classroom where students have a sense of ownership in their reading. 

Education Literacy
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