How do you know if the students are actually reading each night?  For years, I simply had students record their minutes and hope they or their parents were being truthful. So what did I do to know for sure? Keep reading!

I decided that students should be accountable for their reading, so I assigned reading material with questions.  That worked for accountability, but what happened to student choice to keep them interested in reading?  That is when I decided to come up with blanket questions for students to write about their reading.  I then developed a log of minutes and a worksheet of questions to answer by the end of the week.  Yeah!

THEN Common Core came into my district and I realized that my students were only reading fiction books.  I decided to change it up again and have them read fiction and nonfiction throughout the week.  Sometimes I provide the nonfiction material, but the fiction was completely their choice.  Of course, I, along with the media specialist, help my students find chapter books that interest them.  This was really starting to work for my fourth graders.  They are now reading fiction and nonfiction every week.

NEXT, I wanted them to be accountable for their reading, so I developed questions for both fiction and nonfiction reading.  To keep it all together on one sheet of paper, this is how I developed it:


Reading Response

Each week students are required to read a FICTION AND NONFICTION text and have specific response questions related to Common Core and reading strategies.  Students record minutes, genre, and book source, then write a response to their two readings for a grade at the end of the week.



Fiction response questions are related to:

Character Traits and Connection to the character
Setting Description and Prior Knowledge
Identifying the Problem and how it can be solved
Sequencing Events
Meaningful Quote
Point of View
Text-To-Text Connection
Questioning- Before, During, After

Nonfiction response questions are related to:

Main Idea and Details
Nonfiction Elements
Questioning- Before, During, After
Text Connection
Facts and Opinions
Meaningful Quote
Point of View


I print the pages front/back-  fiction/nonfiction.  Students start Monday evening and return it Friday.  Then, I repeat the sheets each quarter, because the students will be reading different material and they get a review of the skills throughout the year.

How do you determine the amount of minutes per grade level?

3rd Grade- 30 minutes
4th Grade- 40 minutes
5th Grade- 50 minutes
If you teach a Gifted class, go up a grade level!


It isn’t difficult AT ALL!  Quickly read through to see if students are on track.  It is easy to tell if they read enough by their writing.  I teach fourth grade, so I give a point per minute that they read (total of 40 min.) and then 30 points for fiction and 30 points for nonfiction to equal 100.  Once I got started, it was easy peasy!

I am so happy with the student accountability!  I hope it works for your classroom too!

Keep Rockin’,