Content Literacy 101

Reading Response Logs (From "Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?")

Reading response logs are like reading journals that students complete for self-selected texts (or any text read outside of class time). For example, if a history class is reading primary sources (like journals or letters) in addition to their textbook, this technique can be used to track their thinking for the outside texts. In a science class, the teacher could assign a magazine article to read for homework, and have students complete a single-entry reading response log.

Why use it? 
"These response logs allow me to see what students are reading and thinking about with self-selected texts [or outside readings]...The logs allow students a place to practice and demonstrate their use of the strategies they are learning in class. It is also a place for me to assess their understanding of the strategies."

How do I use it?
  • Show students sample reading logs (either a previous student's or your own)
  • Have students read 25 pages a week, or whatever you normally assign for homework. It might not sound like a lot, but with six other classes, it might be difficult for the student to complete any more. (Plus, you don't want them to cheat their way through the reading!) =25 points
  • Have students summarize their reading in four to six sentences =10 points
  • Next, have students respond to the text (this should be the largest portion of the log--12 to 15 sentences). These responses can include personal connections, questions they have, lines that interest them, conclusions they've reached about a character or plot element, or a combination of several of these. =15 points
  • Finally, have students include 5 sticky notes that show they're using the strategies you're working on in class. For example, if you are working on making personal connections, they should have 5 sticky notes, each with a different thought that illustrates ways they connected with the text.

Download it here:
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File Type: pdf
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(Strategy and reproducible from: Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? by Cris Tovani)