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How Building Student Reading Lives Can Show Growth & Progress

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

Reading attitude is everything!

  1. Can you imagine going through life not wanting to read anything?

  2. Not wanting to learn more about your interests?

  3. Not wanting to escape into another world?

Sometimes, our kiddos just don't know what they are missing out on when they don't see themselves as readers.

Or just see reading as another chore or task they need to do in school.

Talk about AUTHENTIC assessment!

Imagine what you can learn about a reader by just listening to

what they read,

how they read,

why they read and

when and where they read.

It's so important for children to dive into their reading lives and explore how they see themselves as readers. I know, some of you are thinking, "how cheesy is this chic right now?" BUT hang on...I'm going somewhere with this.

You can start with something so simple! You may want your students to start by exploring why they read.

Grab a Snapshot of Your Readers

A quick and simple way to grab a snapshot of the readers in your classroom is right here....

are you ready?...

  1. Ask them why they read! Encourage them to be brutally honest!

  2. Have them jot their reason (or reasons) down on a little piece(s) of paper.

  3. Assemble them all together.

  4. Hold a discussion about the kinds of readers in the classroom

  5. BAM!! Snapshot of the readers in your classroom.

  6. BONUS...Put it together and it becomes a cool, quick and easy anchor chart display that shows the personalities of the readers in your classroom. Do this again in a month or two to see how it changes.

Now... you know what you are working with and can decide how to move forward with your reading instruction based on the REAL readers in your classroom.

Make a quick display and hang it in your classroom library or on your classroom door.


Think of the possibilities when you have several of these throughout the year and you can see how your readers have grown... :)

This little WHY WE READ activity is just the tip of the iceberg!

Discover & Uncover Student Reading Lives

Share YOUR reading life with your students.

Have your students explore their own reading lives.

Use the Sharing Your Reading Life FREEBIE to guide you and your students through this process.

You will learn so much about each other as you explore reading lives together.

Check out this free download in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. (just click on the graphic)

How Does A Reading Identity Project Show Growth & Progress?

When readers are diving into the kinds of readers they are and the kinds of readers they want to become, they are looking critically at their reading identity and reading abilities.

Your readers need to look at their reading attitudes, behaviors and interests with a critical and reflective eye.

I don't know about you, but my readers never came to me with reflective thinking at the forefront of their little minds. 😉 They needed a guide through the process of discovering their reading identity and determining the steps they needed to take to reach their reading growth goals.

Readers need ongoing opportunities to...

  • discover the kinds of readers they are

  • determine the kinds of readers they want to become

  • look at how reading has fit into their lives up until right now

  • uncover and discover interests

  • look through a critical lens at their own reading attitudes

  • reflect on their reading habits at several times during the school year

  • track their own progress and growth

  • set goals for reading growth and progress

Your readers want to succeed in what they do and they need to see that even the smallest steps in their reading progress is growth.

When readers dive into their reading lives, they will see what goals they want to accomplish as readers. They will be able to determine steps they want to take to achieve those goals.

As readers evolve through the year, they can revisit their reading identity work to see their change, growth and progress.

Readers must return to their identity work at several times throughout the school year. They must reflect on the changes they have seen in themselves as readers. They must reflect on the reading growth they can see. They must reflect on the reading progress they have made. They must set new goals for more growth.

Reading Identity projects will help make your readers' growth visible.

Until next time...

Ready to start sharing reading lives in your classroom but don't know how or where to start? Check out this little resource to get you started.


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