Thursday, June 14, 2012

Read and Respond

I have been using Read and Respond with my students since I started teaching 8 years ago and have tweaked it every year. Every educator knows how vital it is for students to be reading daily. Daily reading boosts fluency, builds vocabulary, and increases comprehension. Good readers think about what they read and the Read and Respond Daily Journal allows students to quickly and thoughtfully respond to what they are reading. Students use thought-provoking prompts to help them analyze what they read for deeper understanding. Read and Respond goes beyond traditional summarizing, although summarization is embedded into the response.

I use Read and Respond in my classroom as an on-going daily homework assignment. I expect my students to read everyday for 20 minutes or more, and I require them to respond to their reading in their Read and Respond notebook four times a week. I like to keep the response simple because I'd rather them spend more time on reading, and I feeling that a meaningful response can be kept to around five sentences. I provide prompts for students (for both fiction and non-fiction books) that they can respond to, or they can write their own response. I ask that my students not give a summary. Usually by 5th/6th grade students are able to easily summarize what they have read. It is much more meaningful for students to actually respond to what they read by thinking about it in different ways. Typically a summary will embed itself in the response. All the students need to do is write the title of the book they are reading, the genre, the date, a five sentence response, and a parent/guardian signature. 

The Read and Respond is checked off daily and I periodically collect students' notebooks and read some of their entries. I ask that students only put one response per page so that I may write a note to them about their response on the rest of the page. Sometimes I will collect everyone's notebook at the same time, or I have also collected them on a rotational basis (this helps me not to be overwhelmed). Usually the first few weeks students are still stuck on summarizing, but once I provide some feedback in their notebooks then I start to see the really meaningful responses emerge. 

In this booklet you will get . . . 
* Teacher directions and suggestions for use
* Student directions for students to paste in their journal 
* Student rubric for students to paste in their journal
* Student worksheet (to be used instead of a composition notebook)
* Read and Respond Passes (for use as incentive/prize in your classroom)

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