Anchor Charts for Reading Reflections

Now is a good time for some reflection. You might ask your students to make some lists in their reader response journal. Then create an anchor chart next week with the combined thinking of your class during an online meeting. I often hold “readerly” and “writerly” conversations. These three conversations center on reading identity: what I know to be true about reading, what is true for me about reading, and what keeps me reading. I try not to structure or define the response in an effort to keep it open-ended and encourage students to contribute to the anchor charts. I make lists in my response journal, too. At most, I may share one of my responses to each topic.  I give students a chance to pair and share, then do a little more writing (possible revisions here) before I ask the entire group to share. Then I record responses, placing tally marks to indicate repeated remarks. Here are some responses from last year’s fourth-graders in Karen Rhoad’s classroom in Upper Moreland:

What I Know to Be True About Reading

  • You need to understand the characteristics of a genre to help you read and understand a text.
  • Books are meant to be read over and over again.
  • The more you reread, the more you will understand!
  • Picture books aren’t just for babies.
  • Short chapter books can help me read through the busy weeks.
  • You can depend on a favorite author.
  • Authors of stories plant the seed of their ending in the beginning.
  • Many narratives follow a story map.
  • When you read story, you need to start at the beginning and continue on to the end.
  • Authors of nonfiction use features like diagrams and photos to help you understand.
  • You can dip in and dip out when you read most nonfiction books.
  • Informational writing has many different organizational patterns, even in the same book or chapter.
  • Sometimes you have to work hard to understand a text, using all your “fix-up” strategies to make meaning.
  • It’s okay not to finish a book you are not enjoying when reading for pleasure.
  • Sometimes you can read fast, and sometimes you need to really slow down!


What is True for Me About Reading (Students keep an individual list in their reader response journal and share a few reflections during whole=group discussion to be added to the class’s anchor chart.)

  • I like to read silently rather than aloud.
  • I like to read the book before seeing the movie – the book is always better!
  • I prefer to read in the morning.
  • I like to read books that make me think.
  • I love mysteries and historical fiction.
  • I want characters I can fall in love with and want as friends.
  • I prefer happy endings.
  • Sometimes I need to look up the meaning of a word.
  • If I get stuck, I know I have to reread.
  • I prefer to finish a book in a week or less.
  • I tackle easier books when I have a lot of commitments and classwork.
  • I usually prefer to read several chapters each day or more!
  • I prefer to hold a book rather than read on the computer screen.

What Keeps Me Reading (From one student’s reader response journal. Lily shared the starred items to add to the class’s anchor chart.

  • Characters that are very real.
  • Mystery, action, and adventure.
  • Wonderful words.
  • Short chapters.
  • Knowing I can talk about the book with a friend who is also reading it. *
  • Reading the blurb or reviews and recommendations from friends.
  • Being able to dip in and out of a nonfiction text by using the Table of Contents or Index. *
  • Trust in the author.
  • The first few pages – especially the lead paragraph.
  • Chapters ending in a cliffhanger.
  • Knowing that you need to get into a book – a book usually gets better and better as it goes along. *
  • Books about my personal interests and loves – animal stories, nonfiction books about outer space, books in a series like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Gregor the Overlander series.

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