I have been assigning reading logs to all of my students for the last five years. What those reading logs have looked like has changed drastically, but they have all been inspired by Robert Marzano. I've used double entry journals, a strict summary, and a free-form log. I've used this year's format for two years.
I do include the information on my class syllabus. The basic idea is that Honors students need to read for two hours and thirty minutes a week, and English 7 students need to read for one hour and fifteen minutes. That averages out to thirty minutes a day for Honors and fifteen minutes a day for English 7.
Here's a video!
Reading Logs for Students Reading At or Above Grade Level
Reading Logs for Students Reading Below Grade Level
Citing evidence requires colored pencils. Many, many colored pencils. ALL THE COLORS!
Essentially, students use a different color to underline where they found the information to support their answer. They need three separate colors for main idea, and one color for the other five question types. I model this using "King of Beasts" because we're familiar with the passage. You can see the modeled annotated version below.
Let's consider question #5. That's the supporting detail question. I highlighted it in blue, so when I find the evidence to support my answer, I'll underline it in blue. Question 5 asks how lions hunt their prey. I found the answer to that question in paragraph 4. Lions hunt their prey by surprise. Lions creep up on their prey. I have supported my answer with evidence from the text. The reason for underlining is to prove my answer. The reason for color coding is so I (the teacher) can see the students thinking.
So why do students need three separate colors for main idea? Isn't that a bit overboard? No. Within the main idea question, there are actually three statements. Which one is too narrow? Which one is too broad? Which one is the main idea? I require students to underline evidence for each statement in a different color. That way it's a bit easier to identify which of the three is the main idea. (Quite frankly, my students struggled with this throughout the year. Main idea is hard, yo).
If a statement is the main idea, it's found in all or most of the paragraphs. All or most of the paragraphs support the main idea, also known as the thesis in an essay and topic sentence in a paragraph. If a statement is too narrow, it's found in just one place. In QAR, it's a right there question. If the statement is too broad, it's just too big.
Let's start with statement #1. The lion is known as the King of Beasts. That's in paragraph one, but that's it. And the phrase king of beasts? It's a pretty broad idea.
Now statement #2. Lions have long, powerful claws. That's in the text. It's right there in paragraph 2. It's only in paragraph. It's too narrow.
Statement #3. Lions are powerful animals that are good hunters. There's support for that in paragraph 1 where it talks about size. That supports that they're powerful. Paragraph 2 says that specifically and then talks about how powerful the claws and teeth are. Paragraph 3 doesn't specifically state anything about how powerful they are or how good of hunters they are. Eh. Paragraph 4 explains how they are good hunters. They are good hunters because they creep up on their prey and can take down animals that are faster and bigger. Therefore #3 is the main idea because it is supported by most of the paragraphs.
When I copy the passages for students, I put the passage on the front. A bubble sheet and a T3C outline goes on the back. The bubble sheet is there so students can bubble in their answers and I can use the Mastery Connect app on Edmodo to quickly grade. It also allows me to easily collect and track data.
The T3C outline is for students to write their T3C paragraph. For the first month of school, everyone writes about the passage I assign. After that, students reading at or above grade level have a choice of writing about the passage or another text they've read that week. For many years, I gave that option to all students. My low performing students, however, have much more success when they're given the passage.
I encourage students to start with the concrete evidence first. Choose the facts from the passage and write the concrete evidence. Then explain the importance of those facts and details in commentary. Once you know what the paragraph is about, introduce it with a topic sentence and then restate the main idea in the concluding sentence.
Since my students get individualized homework, I need a way to keep track of it. The easiest way I've thought of is to copy each week's homework on a different color of paper. Everyone gets the same color, but there's different passages. That way, I can easily remind students that the blue reading log is due next Monday. No one is singled out, and I keep my sanity.