For many years now, I have given my students a reading survey at the beginning of each year. I am always amazed at how much I learn from them, and usually, a couple of them make me chuckle as a kid tries to express his/her interests. I'm not a fan of lots of questions, but I want to get to the gist of the issue: Do you like to read? Why or why not?
This year, using lots of questions from old surveys, which means I stole ideas from my favorites - Nancy Atwell, Laura Robb, and Donalynn Miller - I came up with a survey that I was really pleased with. And then today, I used a form that I think will really help me. While my students were taking their first standardized tests of the year, I was reading their surveys and jotting down notes on my conference forms. How interested are they in reading? How well do they think they read? What do they like to do? What clues have they given me about genres and interests so that I can steer them toward certain books?
Just reading those surveys gave me tons of good information. I felt like I was learning a lot about each child, but this time, I was actually doing something with the information that I'll be able to turn back to time and time again. Why? Because that information is at the top of my reading conferencing note page - one for each student.
I'm so pleased with myself! Now,you may be slapping your forehead and saying, "Are you kidding? I've been doing this for years, and she thinks she just invented something new!" And the truth is, I've always collected the information, and jotted things down here and there. But this is the new me. The organized me. The me who even has all this information in a binder. A blue one! Not decorated, like some of you amazingly crafty teachers out there, but in. a. binder. Where I can see it. And use it. Whenever I want it. Woo hoo!
It's for sale at my TpT store here, but that't really not why I'm posting this. I'm just tickled pink at how useful it's going to be. Oh, and I learned that one girl likes to listen to "chreschen music" and another likes dogs and wants to be a "pet grommer."
There will always be a need for teachers! Have a great Thursday!