Status of the Class

 I took a giant leap this year.  I ditched the reading logs.  Some may say I'm crazy, some may say it's a genius move.  There are a lot of opinions on this topic!  I want my kids to read, but I want them to enjoy reading.

Last year, my students (who would read all day long if I let them) told me that the book log was making them dislike reading.  It broke my heart!  They explained that they were so distracted by what they were going to write, that they couldn't focus on their book.  I knew that I needed to make a change.

Enter Donalyn Miller's Reading in the Wild.  She starts her year off with a Status of the Class roll call.  The students record the date and title of the book they are reading and then complete the sentence "I am at the part where..."  She then has the students go around the room and share their book title and one sentence summary.

I did some research and came across a blog post by The Teacher Studio.  She has been doing Status of the Class for a few years now and shared her system with her readers.  I decided to give it a try!  I created a binder with a calendar for each student, where I would record the book they were reading each day and could add notes on the back.  I was super excited about it!


As it turns out, this system didn't quite work for me.  However, I loved hearing the students statuses, as did their peers so I wanted to keep this concept going.  After multiple tries, I designed a form that is working for me, for now.  I'm sure that I will change it up again at some point!

I created a weekly chart for each class.  I have the student name on the left and the days of the week going across the top.  As the students share their status, I jot down their book title and quick note about what they are reading.


If a student is still reading the same book, I simply draw an arrow so that I am not constantly re-writing the titles.  I also record if the students are absent or didn't read for homework {they are quite honest about this}.


I keep the chart on a clipboard so it is easy for me to access and record notes quickly.  If you are interested, you can grab my blank Status of the Class chart here or by clicking on the picture for free!


At the end of each week, the chart goes into a binder for each class.  {our class names are based on fictional settings, hence Oz!}  Included in this binder is a section for each student where I write down notes as I conference with them.

This system has been a huge game-changer in my classroom!  The students come into class and immediately write down their status of the class.  It then takes less than 8 minutes for 25 students to share.  They are enjoying reading and sharing reading with their classmates.  I had one student who finished reading a book but didn't want to spoil the ending for his friend who was still immersed in it, so he had him go stand in the hall while he read his status.  Made me laugh!  I am hearing a lot more conversations about books among my students than I ever have.

It's also a great system for me because I can quickly see if a student has been reading a book for a long time or if they are jumping from book to book.  As they share, I also comment on what they are reading or ask questions.  It's a super-quick interchange, but gives me a lot of information.

4 comments

  1. Oh, oh, I like this! I am going to give it a try. I am in the middle of trying to figure out a system and have tried 2 so far this year. Thanks for your brilliance! I will let you know how it goes :)

    Tina
    Crofts' Classroom

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  2. Do you use Status of the Class just for books they are reading at home? Are these different from the books they read in class? If they are the same, what is your system for bringing books back and forth? What if they forget a book? Thank you, I loved this post!

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  3. Hi! Just to double check I understood this correctly: The kids come in, write down the book they're reading. Then every kid tells the whole class a one sentence summary and the title of the book every day? I just want to make sure I use this procedure correctly. This is a nice alternative to book logs/reading logs. I was going to do a rotating schedule for book talks, but this holds them accountable and engages one another with the books they are reading. I love the idea! Let me know. Thanks.

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