Home reading

Home reading logs can be an effective use of homework to have kids independently practice various reading strategies. Here are sample reading logs. The E/P/B/U distinctions stand for Excellent, Passing, Basic, Unsatisfactory as a basic rubric.All of these documents are geared towards intermediate students.
  • Reading log 1: Practice summarizing in paragraphs, making connections, expanding vocabulary, and creating a visual summary (PDF, A4 size)
  • Reading log 2: Practice asking "thick/thin" ("fat/skinny") questions, making connections, expanding vocabulary, and creating a visual summary (PDF, A4 size)
  • Reading log 4: Practice summarizing in paragraphs, asking "thick/thin" ("fat/skinny") questions, expanding vocabulary (one word, with logo/graphic representation), and developing story elements (characterization) (PDF, A4 size)
  • Reading log 5: Practice summarizing in paragraphs, finding the main idea/details (using a graphic organizer, expanding vocabulary (one word, with logo/graphic representation) (PDF, A4 size)
  • Reading log 6: Practice asking "thick/thin" ("fat/skinny") questions, making connections, and expanding vocabulary (one word per day, visual representation/logo/graphic, creating a sentence using the word) (PDF, A4 size)
  • Reading log 7: Practice inferring word meanings (no dictionary needed) and inferring ideas from reading using background knowledge and text clues (PDF, A4 size)

Literature circles and book clubs
Literature circles are an interesting way to engage your students in the study of a particular novel. Students can be grouped in a variety of ways, to meet interests or readiness. Click the links below for PDF and Word documents that you can use with your literature circle groups. These pages are most appropriate for grades3 and up. 
  • Literature circle roles (A): Organize your literature circles by writing students' names on this chart. Also available in Word format, and with various roles listed: B (PDF)   B (Word)   C (PDF)   C (Word) 
  • Discussion Director: The Discussion Director is in charge of directing the group's discussion by following a set of directions. They also encourage discussion by using "thick" or "fat" questions. A sample rubric for scoring is listed on the second page. 
  • Literary Luminary: This role highlights key passages from the text. A second version, using similes/metaphors, is available here. A sample scoring rubric is listed on the second page. 
  • Word Wizard: The Word Wizard allows students to go in-depth with learning words that challenge them and their group members. This version also encourages using inferred meanings/context clues. This version focuses on one word using a variety of strategies. A sample scoring rubric is listed on the second page.
  • Super Summarizer: This role focuses on the main plot and characters of the selected passage. They also use Two Facts and a Fib to see how well their group members were following the book's details. A sample scoring rubric is listed on the second page. 
  • Attentive Artist: As an addition to or in lieu of the Super Summarizer, students can use this role to draw or create a graphic organizer for the main point(s) of the passage. 
  • Cheerful Checker: Though this role doesn't have much to prepare before a meeting, they are key to helping a group stay on target and in helping the group reflect on their strengths and weaknesses for a better discussion the next time.  
Literature and novel studies

  • Stone Fox RAFT writing project: RAFT = Role, Audience, Format, Topic. Engage students in exploring Stone Fox further through this differentiated writing project, in which students choose their type of writing/role.

Photo by San Jose Library
Resources to help parents with children's literacy
Links for teachers
  • ReadWriteThink: This site, produced by NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English, U.S.) and the International Reading Association, is an incredible site for all areas of literacy. It offers both interactive learning activities for students and engaging, hands-on lessons for primary through high school grades.
Links for students
  • Storyline Online: Children's books read aloud in video format by famous actors from the American Screen Actors' Guild; Includes subtitles for stories, too.