In the days leading up to this lesson, students choose novels to read from a list and are placed in groups based on interest. To stay on track during the unit of study, each group makes a plan for reading using the calendar provided. They also fill out the Student Contract and get it signed by a parent, which is explained here.
For a multi-day unit like this with students reading a variety of books, it is important that they and you have a method to track progress. The Daily Log is a useful tool for doing so, but it takes some explaining. The students need to see how to fill it in. I provide them with a demonstration to remind them that although they are allowed a great deal of independence during this unit they are responsible to complete work in a timely manner.
Time management and organization are important skills for students to master. As the unit progresses, you will see that the Daily Log offers a quick check-in on who’s keeping up, who’s falling behind, and who’s ahead of schedule.
With all the basics covered, it is now time for students to begin reading their novels. I allow at least 20 minutes of silent reading time today and each day that follows.
During the reading, my students use post-its or a bookmark to track important events, jot down questions, or note unfamiliar words. These notes will be used during group discussions where students will check in with peers. I use this time to read with students or small groups that need extra support or to check-in on each group’s progress. You may decide to allow partner-reading to build fluency skills.
The class ends with each group reviewing the reading assignment due the next day.