|About this Daily Classroom Special:
The Write Stuff was
written by former Teachers Network web mentor, Lisa Kihn, a math and
language arts teacher at Nevin Platt Middle School in Boulder, Colorado.
Lisa believes in project based learning and curriculum integration to
actively involve students in their learning process.
The Write Stuff, How to Make Your Students Better Readers With Literature Logs
Literature Logs are an effective means for students to respond to the books they are reading independently. I require that my sixth graders read a half hour at home each night for homework. In addition, my students read in class for about 20 minutes each day and then write for ten minutes in their lit logs.
Summarizing skills are very important. We spend several weeks at the beginning of the school year practicing writing summaries of students’ classroom reading. I ask students to limit their paragraphs to three to five sentences. This becomes much easier for them as the year goes on. Students soon realize that as they read, they should be thinking about the most salient points of the material to note in their paragraphs.
The reaction paragraph is also expected to be three to five sentences. This also becomes easier once students are in the habit of thinking and responding to their reading as they do it. I find asking students to write every day for ten minutes about the pages they have just read very effective in teaching summarizing skills.
The following pages include the handout that students staple into the front of the spiral notebook they use for their lit logs. This sheet reminds them of how to write a lit log entry. There is also a sample of a self-evaluation form I use to grade their lit logs.
To the Literature Logs Sample page
To The Literature Logs Self-Evaluation