The start of a new school year brings excitement and anticipation to teachers and students alike. Each party to the relationship is wondering about the personality and interests of the other. In this article, I share different ways I like to get to know the personalities and interests of my new readers. Plus, download my Reading Survey for Students worksheet.
The start of a new school year brings excitement and anticipation to teachers and students alike. Each party to the relationship is wondering about the personality and interests of the other. As a teacher, I know that the first few weeks of school can really set the tone for the rest of the year. I always walk a fine line between wanting my students to enjoy and look forward to coming to school, and making sure that they understand our class rules and routines. At the same time that I am establishing a class structure that ensures all students feel comfortable taking risks and expressing themselves, I am also trying to get to know each student as a reader.
Get to Know Your New Class of Readers
Initial Student Reading Conferences
I have a few different ways I like to get to know my readers. If you have visited my blog before, you may have seen my post on Initial Student Reading Conferences. If you missed the post, here’s a quick summary. During September conferences, I ask my students to have three different books (each with a specific purpose) in their book boxes in order to guide our conference and to help me in figuring out what type of readers I have and what their interests are.
In addition to conferring with my students, I like to have them take a reading survey. I've found that the answers on a reading survey actually can be used to gauge or assess reading levels.
I use a Reading Survey for Studentsworksheet to ask students questions about their reading likes and dislikes, their goals, and their attitudes about reading class.
Of course, I could have students complete the survey electronically, but I like to keep the survey results on hand so I can refer to them throughout the beginning of the school year.
Some years (time permitting), I ask my students to take the survey again at the end of the year to see how they have changed and grown as readers. My students love to compare and contrast the differences in their reading preferences from the beginning of the year to the end.