You can get to know what sorts of books interest your 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students in any number of ways. Ideally, you have the time and the energy to pull your students up for a one-on-one conversation.
Explore their reading history, their attitudes about reading, and what books they’ve enjoyed in the past. Ask them questions about their reading and write down their answers.
You are telling your students with your actions that their words matter and that you are hearing them. With this simple interaction you are sending the message that their reading life is important to you.
What I am suggesting is that you do a deep dive into their little reading souls. Ask all the awkward probing questions.
I’m going digital this year, so I created a Google Form and assigned it to my Google Classroom in all three of my classrooms. If you do this, you can export the information to a Google Sheet and have it right at your fingertips.
Whatever you use—a paper survey, a digital survey, or an interview—be sure to ask probing questions. If you ask, “How do you feel when you are asked to read a book,” then follow up with, “What caused you to feel this way?”
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