A new year means a new group of students! Students that you don't know yet. How do you learn as much about them as you can in a short amount of time? One way I get to know my new students better is to use a reading interest survey to let me know what things they like and are interested in.
I have created a Favorites List. I got the idea as I was reading 100 Minutes by Lisa Donohue for our book study earlier this summer. Donohue suggested grouping students by interest levels. This idea intrigued me, so I created a form to capture my new students' interests at the beginning of the year.
I had said in that previous post:
I looked on-line but couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I created:
My Favorites List (You can download it free here)
Knowledge of students' major areas of interest helps a teacher to select appropriate instructional exercises. Research has shown that students read interesting material more easily and with higher comprehension. By understanding what students' interests are "we can guide students to select books from the classroom library that will allow them to become engaged readers." (Moss & Young, 2010, p. 56)
As we all know, if a child is interested in the material, he or she will be more willing to complete the lesson. I can't wait to find out what my new students' interests are next month! I have had the same class for two years in a row, so it is going to be an adjustment to learn about new students.
I am also going to have them complete this Activity Rating Scale from Laura Candler (pgs. 3-4). The first two pages are an alternate reading interest survey you could use as well.
How do you learn about your new students at the beginning of the year?
Moss, B. & Young, T.A. (2010) Creating Lifelong Learners Through Independent Reading. Newark, DE. International Reading Association