Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Favorite Classroom Routine: Status of the Class

Happy Sunday!! Today I thought I would share a little bit about one of my favorite classroom tools!! There is no other strategy or tool that I use in my classroom that I cherish and value more than “Status of the Class”. I have been using this tool in my classroom for the last four years, to engage, reinforce, and monitor my students’ reading habits.

Four years later, I still find it to be one of the most rewarding parts of my day. Status of the Class is an idea that came from The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. Along with the many other ideas from this life-changing book, Status of the Class is an amazing tool for engaging readers in your classroom.

Here’s how it works my classroom...
  • I keep a binder full of “Status of the Class” forms for each of my students. At the top of each page I record their names.
  • During our independent reading time, I flip through the pages and call out each student’s name, one at a time. When I call their names, they pause their book to tell me the title of the book they are reading and what page they are on. I record the date, title, and page number. If a student is reading the same book as the day before, then I only record the date and the page number. (This helps speed things along!)
  • If a student has completed a book since the previous day, then I record an “F” for “Finished”. Likewise, I record a “Q” if a student has “Quit” a book.
  • I repeat this process {almost} daily.
  • All in all, this process takes about 5-8 minutes for me to get through all 33 of my students. In the beginning it takes a bit longer. But once students are used to the routine, it’s a breeze!

6 Reasons Why I Use (and Love) Status of the Class....

  1. I ALWAYS KNOW WHAT MY STUDENTS ARE READING. This quick five minute routine, allows me to communicate with each of my students on a daily basis about what they are reading. I don’t have to keep track of reading logs, or even hope that my students are completing them accurately and honestly. I know what they are reading!
  2. I CAN TRACK MY STUDENTS' READING HABITS. Not only do I know what my students are reading, I know how quickly they are finishing books, how often they are quitting books, what types of books they like to read, and what types of books they don’t seem to finish.
  3. MY STUDENTS ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. My students know that I am going to check their reading status {almost} everyday!!! They want to come to school prepared and ready to share!!
  4. IT GIVES ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO REINFORCE AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK. During Status of the Class, I am able to provide positive reinforcement for students who have finished books, or who have read more pages than usual. I can also provide students with gentle reminders to read daily if I notice they are moving slowly through certain books.
  5. IT OPENS UP COMMUNICATION ABOUT READING. Since I have an ongoing record of my students’ reading habits, I am able to have endless conversations with them about reading. I know what books I can recommend to which students. I know when to talk with a student about branching out into a different genre. I know when to talk to a student about a book they are reading that might be too challenging. Status of the Class is also a great tool to share with parents during parent-teacher conferences. It allows you to have conversations with parents about their children’s reading habits.
  6. MY STUDENTS LOVE IT!! One thing I am guaranteed to hear AT LEAST once a day is, “Are you going to do Status of the Class today?!” My students LOVE to report when they have started new books, what pages they are on, and when they have finished a book!! 
Click here for this freebie!

If you are not currently using Status of the Class in your classroom, I strongly urge you to give it a try. The short time that it take is worth every minute. You simply won’t regret it!!!