As a teacher, I always made it my goal to make sure everything I did, or made my students do, was meaningful. Whether it be reading homework, math centers, or morning work, I didn’t like wasting time; my time or my students’ time. In addition, I always liked to know that real learning was taking place. I never wanted to passively assign my students to complete some work, collect a worksheet, and give a grade. I wanted to see my student’s thinking and feel confident that the work they did was rigorous and accomplished my goals as a teacher. Reading homework was no exception.
For reading homework, I always assigned my students nightly reading and gave them a reading log to complete. Although I never wanted to admit it, I knew that a completed reading log at the end of each week didn’t mean any REAL reading actually took place. It was a problem I was aware of but was too exhausted to find a solution for. It was more than that, though. I had multiple issues.
- I had no way of knowing if students were actually reading each night.
- Even if students were reading, were they understanding their reading?
- Students weren’t practicing the reading skills I needed them to practice.
- Was this type of homework (reading logs) meaningful for ALL of my students?
While I do believe children should read purely for the enjoyment of reading, I knew as a teacher I wanted a bit more. I wanted something that I could give my students that would NOT be overwhelming and would reinforce the reading skills I wanted them to practice. This is exactly why I FINALLY created a reading homework system that would solve my problems.
My Solution! I created a reading homework system that…
- Exposes students to a new, rigorous, grade-level appropriate text each week.
- Focuses on a particular skill (currently learning) while also reinforcing skills that have already been taught.
- Requires students to answer text-dependent questions that demand real thinking about the text.
- Is short and meaningful…not overwhelming.
Sounds too good to be true, right? I thought the same thing, but I figured out a way to create such a resource. Here is how it works!
- Each week students get the weekly passage and a set of questions broken up into four days (Monday through Thursday).
- The text is on-grade level, rigorous, and provides practice with the current skill that is being taught.
- Each day, students work through four questions using the same text. Questions are text-dependent and vary in complexity as the days go on and students are more familiar with the text.
That’s it! Simple. This little nightly assignment provides students with meaningful reading practice without taking up too much time and becoming a burden. Students reread the passage each night, improving comprehension and fluency naturally. Also, I love the fact that this assignment can give the teacher a quick peek into what each student still needs help with. If a student is struggling with “Main Idea”, you are going to know it without having to formally assess.
Be sure to check out my other blog post on Getting Rid of Reading Logs!
If you would like to try this resource out, stop by my shop and grab two FREE weeks of Reading Homework HERE. I am currently working with a writer on creating this resource for even more grade levels, so stay tuned.