Reading Should Be Enjoyable, Not a Chore
Ask nearly any parent or student what they think of reading logs, and I’m certain you won’t hear words like “inspiring, motivating.” The Atlantic did a great job addressing this outdated and ineffective approach to building lifelong learners in “Can Reading Logs Ruin Reading for Kids?“.
Engaging Alternatives to Reading Logs
It has never been easier to build student choice into reading reflections. Give students opportunities to share what they are getting out of reading through BookSnaps, Trading Cards, Book Trailers, Fake Facebook Pages, Fake Tweets, Blackout Poetry, video or audio reflections, etc. I plan on sharing a more complete collection of approaches in a future post.
iRead Interactive Reading Journals
Our school has set a goal to have all students read books across 12 genres this year. Working with our reading coach, and feedback from teachers I work with, we developed a way to provide students with choice, and a place to document their progress. We work in a 1:1 iPad school, so Keynote seemed like a logical choice for an interactive journal. You can also get similar results using PowerPoint or Google Slides.
I modified the page settings of my presentation to match an iPad screen in portrait mode. A simple iPad mockup was used as a background for each slide, with image placeholders in place of app icons on the home page. Twelve placeholders are labeled with different genres, additional placeholders are labeled “student choice” to allow students to repeat genres of their choosing. Each placeholder is hyperlinked to a different slide. I hyperlinked a transparent shape on the home button of each page that links back to the first slide.
iRead in Action
Students will replace the appropriate image placeholder with a picture of their book cover. Students share their reading responses on the slide that is hyperlinked to their newly added book cover. Response slides can accommodate text, video, images, etc. Students are free to insert additional slides if more space is needed.
Click the plus on a content slide to access your camera, add photos, videos, record audio, etc.Authentic Audience
Students using Keynote can use iCloud to share their with a link. SharePoint offers an option for sharing PowerPoint files, and Google Slides are easily shared with a “view only” link.
iRead Reading Journal Templates
I’ve created two templates. iRead 1.0 consists of 12 genres with 4 student choice spaces. iRead 2.0 has 3 home pages with placeholders for 12 genres and 24 student choice spaces.
Keynote Reading Journal Template
Adding a book cover picture with Keynote is easy.Download iRead Template 1.0 for Keynote
Download iRead Template 2.0 for Keynote
PowerPoint Reading Journal Template
PowerPoint does not allow you to hyperlink image placeholders. To replace the image placeholders in PowerPoint: click on a placeholder image, then click “Change Picture” in the menu at the top of the page.
Download iRead Template 1.0 for PowerPoint
Google Slides Reading Journal Template
Google Slides doesn’t offer the option to create true placeholders. To replace placeholder images in Google Slides: click on a placeholder image, then click “Replace Image” in the menu at the top of the page.
iRead Template 1.0 for Google Slides
What Are Your Favorite Alternatives to Reading Logs?
Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter.