We are in the home stretch in my classroom, as our last day of school is June 21st! However, with summer just around the corner, I have to keep myself from falling into summer vacation mode too early. I want to make sure that all of the hard work I have done with my readers this year is celebrated and is reflected upon in a way that helps my students realize their wonderful evolution as readers in my classroom. I find that encouraging them to reflect on their monthly reading goals and the progress they have made throughout the school year helps guide my students as they make plans for their summer reading.
Learn how my students use their Reader's Notebook to reflect on their independent reading and make plans for their summer reading. I also describe some fun ways to get your students excited about reading during the summer.
Using the Reader's Notebook to Reflect on a School Year of Reading
Using the information and work students have done in their Reader's Notebook during the school year, you can have them create a "Reading Year in Review" booklet that they can take home at the end of the year. Each section below describes the parts of the booklet, but it can be downloaded as a Microsoft Office Publisher file at end of this section.
Favorites: Using their reading log, your students can determine their favorite of the books they read during the school year. This page of the booklet includes spaces for favorite chapter book, picture book, author, poem, and genre. There is also a page for students to either draw or paste in a picture of themselves in their favorite book nook. It will be fun for them to look back at the booklet years later to remember where they liked to read in your classroom.
Genre Review: As you can see in my earlier post on the Reader's Notebook, my students create genre graphs every two months to keep track of the genres they are reading throughout the year. The next two booklet pages require students to pick their favorite books in each genre and to then create a final genre graph that shows their total books read during the entire school year. It is fun for students to see how many books they read and to reflect on the genres that they read the most and the least in 3rd grade. Students can even use this final graph when setting summer reading goals.
Setting Summer Goals: One important task that my students do in their Reader's Notebook each unit is to set reading goals for themselves. A the end of the year, students reflect on the goals that they set for themselves throughout the school year. This really helps them determine areas of reading in which they have grown and areas of their reading in which they still need to improve. They will then revisit their reading logs, genre graphs, unit goals, and IDR task entries to write five goals for their summer reading.
Recommending Books to Classmates: As students reflect on the reading they have done this school year and begin to add their favorite books to their "Reading Year in Review" booklet, they often begin reminiscing about their favorite books. To capture this excitement for reading, you can have each child do a book talk as a way of recommending books to their classmates for summer reading. As students share books with each other, they can write the title of the books they are interested in reading on the page (seen below) in their booklet. They can then check these books out at the library over the summer or even purchase them at a local bookstore. You can use this "Recommending a Book" handout to help your students plan their book talks.
Final Reflection: On the last page of the booklet, students answer questions related to their reading life based on their experiences in your Reading Workshop. These questions are more thoughtful and require students to think more deeply about their reading growth and achievements during the school year.