I began to realize the importance of keeping a reading log while working with the students whom I mentor. Often I would show them a book we had read months ago and ask them if they remembered it. Sometimes they would, other times they would tell me we had not read it.
Wouldn’t it be great if they were keeping track of their reading on their own, instead of needing me to tell them which books, or how many books they had read?
A reading log or journal doesn’t have to emulate a diary, which boys may equate to a place to write feelings – so girly! Let boys decide how their reading journal or log will work. If they are comfortable keeping track of the books they have read and their thoughts on them, that’s great! If they are shy about writing their feelings down, that’s okay too. Simply keeping track of the books they have read will be a great starting point.
Encourage boys to use the journal or log as a way to track their reading successes. Success should not be confined to the number of books they have read. The reading log can be used to record how many different genres they have read or – for younger boys – how many chapter books versus picture books they have read.
Make it Technical
Reading journals can take of many forms – from notepads to charts to digital logs. Boys who enjoy the latest technology may be more excited to keep track of their reading with an online blog. The interactive format will help engage them in reading. Encourage them to have fun with it! They can install a book counter or a rating system to their blog posts. They will feel in control of their opinions when they decide which books get five stars.
A reading log will help boys see evidence of their reading. Since reading is an activity that is often too abstract for many boys, the concrete proof of their success will be beneficial to their reading confidence and independence.