Online Homework Reading Responses

I have always had students turn in reading responses weekly to promote “thinking about reading” and accountability.

This past year, I gave students the option of turning in their reading responses online instead of in their composition notebooks.

Initially, the class (and I) were very excited about the idea. The technology! The convenience!

By the end of the year though, less then a handful of students continued completing their reading responses online. Since fourth graders have not mastered typing, the novelty of it dwindled and typing the responses online became difficult and more tedious for them.

This was so convenient, not having to lug composition books home and hand write (I prefer typing) responses back but I have to think whether to continue this option. My husband says that even though typing is difficult for elementary students, the more encounter and familiarity with technology will in the long run benefit them because the use of technology in our careers and lives is only increasing…



Reading Homework Ideas

Rachel Lynette’s blog gives the interesting idea of providing codes, like acronyms that are used in phone texts, to write along reading passages. This could be another way to foster engagement and encourage “thinking about reading” in students’ reading Interactive Notebooks. Creative.

Homework (Reading)

These worked well my fourth year, and I will continue implementing these.

  • Weekly interactive reading response requirements
    • I know students don’t love these, but they promote “thinking” about their reading, they give accountability, and it helps them develop writing complete paragraphs. Also, these entries should not take a lot of time for students to complete. I would say the pros outweigh here the cons.
    • I assign specific reading response starters weekly instead of giving a ton to choose from. This allows students to try out different responses instead of doing the same ones over and over again.
    • Should I send home Weekly Readers or passages from to base their responses on, or just have them choose their own good-fit books?
  • Weekly Reading Logs for parents to initial weekly (Only if this will help and not deter reading!)
    • There will be a weekly goal of how many minutes students should read and it will be up to the student how to portion these minutes out (to allow flexibility with after-school activities).
    • I will allow students to not have to complete reading logs at all for the whole year, if the parent has contacted me that their child does indeed read at home consistently. Based off of this insightful parent blog, reading logs that will help accountability will be used, otherwise, not.

4th Year Concerns & Questions: Homework


  • How do I create accountability for reading at home?
    • I tried the homework reading log and for parents to sign combined with a sticker incentive chart. If the student filled out the whole chart they got a homework pass.
      • This worked beautifully for like, a month, and then by the end of the year I only had three students doing it, and not even consistently.
    • Interactive Reading Response Journals worked okay… I will do this again next year but I wonder how I can modify it to be more authentic and motivating for the students.

3rd Year Reflections: Assessments


  • I initially loved the SMART Response clickers… and the class loved using them. The more I used them though, I realized…
    • I did not like how the data for students’ answers were given. I wish it would give the information for each student in a more friendly format. Otherwise, I had to cut out long slits of the results that were not practical to give back to the students. Or I hand- wrote the information (grade, circled the questions missed, and the total number of questions missed) back onto the original assessment looking at the results but that seemed to take away from it’s proposed efficiency.

3rd Year Goals: Homework

  • Interactive/Double-entry notebooks for reading responses to encourage and create accountability for reading at home. I did not like the sectioned reading response sheets I used the past two years.
  • Reading Logs with incentives of parent signatures every night for homework (to hopefully create more accountability).