Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Reading Logs

I love to read and always have.  I’m sure I developed my love for reading from a few teachers, but the person who had the greatest influence on me was my mother.  She read everything she could get her hands on.  Growing up, our coffee tables and shelves were filled with newspaper, magazines and books. My mother began most days with a cup of coffee and the newspaper sprawled out on the kitchen table and ended her days cuddled up on the couch with a magazine or a book.  I know she was busy raising six children, but she always found time to read.
From her, I learned to view reading as a wonderful activity and something to look forward to every day.  My mother modeled for me that reading was important, more important than watching TV or talking on the phone.  I still have many of my childhood books and my own children’s book shelves are filled with books “from Grandma and Grandpa”.  Oftentimes I read books to my students that are gifts from my mother and I notice the children always move toward those books during self-selected reading (smile).
Sometimes I think of my mother when I’m creating reading logs and parent letters.  My mother wouldn’t understand the need to track time spent on reading.  For her, reading is joyous - plain and simple.  But, as a teacher, I think providing a reading log is one way to nudge along those who haven’t developed the habit of reading.  Some families need a reminder that we are helping children develop their love of reading – now.  Sure, we all know that reading is good for us, but families are burdened with hectic schedules and I think a reading log is a positive, visual reminder to stop and make time for something very important - reading. 
I’m starting off the school year with this simple, basic format to help the children develop the routine of reading.  I don’t want reading to be a chore and hope reading is something they look forward to doing every day.
We had guest readers last week and it's obvious this group enjoys listening to someone read to them.  You could have heard a pin drop in the classroom while these two second grade friends were reading.


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