Reading Response skills and strategies are important for students to have a better understanding of their reading.  Whether you are reading a chapter book together, assigning book groups, or allowing for independent reading for your students, responding to the text is crucial to a deeper comprehension of the text.  Students should not only respond to fiction, but also to nonfiction text.

So what is an effective way for reading response AND keep your students accountable for their reading?  Reading Response Notebooks!  Use the following ideas for using reading response notebooks: 

1.  Decide on what skills are necessary for your students.  Ideas may include:

Setting Description
Problem Solving
Figurative Language
Sequence of Events
Text Illustration
Point of View of 2 Characters
Text Connection

Main Idea and Details
Meaningful Quote
Point of View
Text Connections
Text Evidence

2.  Next, decide on how many times you would like to assess each skill.

Once?  You can use response questions for a project where students need to complete them (fiction, nonfiction, or combination) by a due date.
Twice?  Model responses for the whole group reading, then assign the same response questions for their independent reading.
Quarterly?  Use the same response questions each quarter and track student progress.

3.  For each response, students should record the title of the text.  Fiction, also have them identify the genre.  For nonfiction, have them identify the source. (ex. newspaper article, website, book, etc.)

Reading Response - main idea reading skill example

4.  Review the skill/strategy and your expectations with the students.

In my Reading Response Notebooks, I include 3 rubrics.  One for an individual skill, another for all of the fiction skills, and the third for all of the nonfiction skills.  Encourage students to write enough details to provide a thorough response.  Use a rubric to explain expectations!  This is an example for individual skill.

Reading Response Example

5.  After grading students’ work, have them track their progress for each skill even if you only plan for them to respond once.

It will give you an overall view of areas they may need help in.  If you use them each quarter, it will show their progress in learning that skill or strategy.  This example is a quarterly tracking chart.  These are effective tools when conferencing with parents too.

Reading Response - fiction and nonfiction response questions tracking form

How do I put the notebooks together?

1.  Print a cover on white cardstock or have students create their own decoration for the cover.
2.  Have students color the cover.
3.  Use two different color cardstock, one for fiction and one for nonfiction.
4.  Add a tab for fiction and nonfiction.
5.  Print response pages or place enough paper for the amount of response you want for each category.  Click Here for response pages.
6.  Create a table of contents and/or tracking chart.
7.  Put the notebooks together:  Cover page, table of contents, tracking form, fiction cover page and printable, nonfiction cover page and printables, and rubric (optional).
8.  Hole punch the pages.
9.  Place them in a 3-prong folder that can support 24 pages or more if you are using them more than once.  My FAVORITE is Oxford Clear Report Covers

Oxford Clear Report Covers from Amazon

(They fit 100 pages which works great for one time, semester, or quarterly assessments and are durable enough for reuse.  I love the clear front page.  I wouldn’t recommend regular report covers with the plastic sliding bar becasue they are hard to maneuver.  A small binder would work too.)

10.  Add tabs and waaaahlllllaaa!  You are ready for reading response!

Reading Response Notebook Example



If you would like all of this prepped for you with Common Core standards on each page, CLICK HERE.  This reading response notebook will save you time and provide your students with an abundance of both FICTION AND NONFICTION skills and stategies.  It can be used multiple times to help students get a clear understanding of each skill.  There are specific questions for each skill or strategy that guide your students to understand how to respond to that particular skill or strategy. 

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