Student Accountability

Tired of teacher-led guided reading? Want to try out book clubs in your classroom? The trouble with that is student accountability! This post will share one way to hold your students accountable even when they are working in a group without you!
Have you ever tried student-led reading groups in your classroom? Have you ever felt like your students were not putting forth their best effort? Using student-led reading groups can be motivating for your students but extremely hard for you to monitor all of the groups at the same time. By holding your students accountable with these quick group check sheets, you can finally make student-led groups work in your classroom. Keep reading to find out the details and grab your freebie!

Before I started doing student-led groups in my classroom, I did the typical "guided reading" groups. I would meet with groups of students 2-3 times each week. I would lead their official reading time. The tides have changed in my classroom and I couldn't be more thrilled. Our reading groups now meet Monday-Thursday (which means my students are meeting all 4 days instead of just 2 or 3).

This is all fine and dandy, except... what about student effort and you monitoring them? That's when I decided to introduce my students to group check sheets. My students love them. As a class, we developed a group rubric to follow. My students rate themselves and then the members of their group on participation, effort, kindness, etc. We had a huge discussion now what it means to be a good listener and how to offer support if someone is confused or having a hard time figuring out a word.
Tired of teacher-led guided reading? Want to try out book clubs in your classroom? The trouble with that is student accountability! This post will share one way to hold your students accountable even when they are working in a group without you!
For 20 minutes (Monday-Thursday), my students meet with their group. They read as a group and then work on the comprehension questions that match their selected chapters. We alternate between chapter books and leveled readers that accompany our reading series. The leveled readers are fabulous, but I notice that some of my students get bored with them. Switching it up with chapter book gives a nice variety for them.

Near the end of their group time, I clap my hands three times. This is the signal to the groups to find a good stopping place, mark their books and then fill out their group check sheets. They have two minutes to get them done and turned in to a little bin that sits on a shelf near our library. This is a great transition between reading groups and going back to our tables.
Tired of teacher-led guided reading? Want to try out book clubs in your classroom? The trouble with that is student accountability! This post will share one way to hold your students accountable even when they are working in a group without you!
So far, my students are being brutally honest. If someone is messing around, the entire group will mark them down. With my students rating themselves- it allows them to take ownership and responsibility with their behavior during reading groups. I had a student tell me, "I gave myself a 2 because there was a lot I could have done better." Wow. That is exactly the point I was going for! Let's hope he remembers it.
Tired of teacher-led guided reading? Want to try out book clubs in your classroom? The trouble with that is student accountability! This post will share one way to hold your students accountable even when they are working in a group without you!
Are you wondering why there are four different colors? That is part of my classroom organization strategy. I have four reading groups. The colors match each group. My groups change frequently based on what level text I have chosen for the group. I keep myself and my students organized by color coding the groups. When I copy comprehension questions for a text, I copy them onto the color for that group. When I look over the sheets for the day, I can easily see which sheets belong to which groups. I can look for an similarities. If I notice consistent low ratings, I just position myself closer to their group and more frequently than the others for the next few reading group times.

While my students are meeting, I move around between all four of the groups. It also gives me a chance to pull a student if I am working on an intervention with them. My students love student-led reading groups and this accountability piece made it work for me.
To help my groups stay organized, I have them put all their materials in a bin (color-coded of course). They all have a copy of the rubric to refer to. The rubric is also hanging in my classroom so they can refer to it for other activities too. They also keep post-its in their bin because I will usually give them an assignment for the week that they will keep track of on their post-its. Having all of this in their bins makes starting the reading groups each day so easy. 
 
Want to try the student accountability sheets in your classroom? Click here or the image below to download for free from my TpT store.
If you try them out, I would love to know how it goes! Leave a comment below to share your results. Want to save the post for later? Pin the image below to save and share with friends. 

Tired of teacher-led guided reading? Want to try out book clubs in your classroom? The trouble with that is student accountability! This post will share one way to hold your students accountable even when they are working in a group without you!



25 comments

  1. This is great! I love how simple this would be and it's always better to have the kids responsible for rating themselves! It gives them such ownership!!

    Rachel
    A Tall Drink of Water

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  2. I absolutely love this structure and how it contains the self-assessment piece! Thanks for the freebie, too!

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  3. That is a FANTASTIC system! I'm going to check that out in your store. I don't have my kids grouped that way except in my "teacher group," but I could still have the kids in that group reflect on how they did - without my input! Very cool color system too! I'm a nut for color as well. Great post!

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  4. I would love, love, love to try this in my room, but I worry about my lowest babies. They are working on level G (I'm in 3rd grade.) and I don't know that they get enough independently. Wondering if you had any tips? Maybe meeting with them for a little bit?

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    1. You could totally focus most of your time with that group while your others are meeting. I have found that because we started out the year by doing “regular guided reading”, my other groups are are good at asking each other questions to check for understanding. My lows still struggle. I often spend between 1/2 or 3/4 of reading group with my low group. They are reading a low level book so that helps too. I hope some of these tips help. Let me know if you have any more questions and thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this Cassie! I love that it's an easy system that supports students in taking control of their group!

    Brandi
    Swinging for Success

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  6. I saved this post and am just now circling back to it.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! The rubric keeps expectations clear.
    I am **cough cough** not that great at reading haha, but I can see adapting this to my guided math as well!
    Can't wait to try this in my classroom! :)

    Amber
    PeppyZestyTeacherista

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  7. Looking forward to trying this with my grade 1s! thanks

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  8. Could you see this being done in a fifth grade room? Also, do you come up with all the comprehension questions?

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    1. I most definitely could see this working in a fifth grade classroom. The rubric might need to be changed a bit, but you could easily just type something up that works for your students. To answer your second question, it depends on the text. Some of the novels that I use for book studies have comprehension questions in our reading series. Some of them I have written comprehension questions for and some I have purchased units off of TpT. For the daily reading groups, my students just ask general questions like "how did ____ change from the beginning of the chapter to the end of the chapter?" "how is the setting influencing the plot". These are questions that they have learned through guided reading and they now ask them amongst each other during group. Hope this helps!!

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  9. Can you explain a little bit about what the full hour rotation looks like? I'm very intrigued but don't understand exactly what your schedule looks like. Are you still meeting with all four groups a day? How long do he groups meet for? What are they/you doing the rest of the time?

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    1. Thanks for your question. My reading groups only last 20 minutes. All four of my reading groups are meeting at the exact same time in my classroom. I move in between the groups listening to each and prompting with questions where appropriate. I started the year with normal guided reading so my students have developed questioning skills so they are in charge of checking each other for comprehension along the way. I spend the majority of the 20 minutes with my lowest readers. I hope this answers you question and let me know if you have any more! ;)

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  10. I like this idea. My students are well-behaved and do a good job with assignments. I think I'll try it:-) Thanks for the freebie!

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    1. You are so welcome!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Interesting idea, I will try to incorporate this into my reading lessons. Thanks. Denise

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  12. Do the students rate themselves on 1 group sheet or does each student receive a sheet and rate all the members for the group?
    Thanks I love these! Sorry this may have posted twice!

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    1. My students do not rate themselves. They only rate the members of their group. At the beginning of each group time they start by recording the names of their group members, then at the end of the group they add a quick rating. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any additional questions!

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  13. I noticed that several others asked questions about your groups as well. If all of your groups are meeting at the same time and you jump from group to group, what else do you spend your time on in Language Arts? Do your students do other rotations? What are you doing during that time?

    Casey

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    1. We have a core curriculum that takes up the remainder of my LA block. This consists of a focus text, vocabulary study, spelling study, grammar and writing. When I have reading groups happening, my students do not do other rotations. We usually do one reading club a month. All other weeks are guided reading/Daily 5. During reading groups I am working with my groups. I usually focus more on my struggling readers but I make sure to touch base with all of my groups each day. Let me know if you have any additional questions!

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  14. Such a great idea! I was wondering how do you keep your students invested? Do you track or do anything special with the scores/ ratings? Is there some sort of incentive/consequence to go along with those who consistently score high/low? I just want to find a way to retain their motivation within their groups.
    Thanks!

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    1. Great question! The scale does not involve a grade. It is more of an accountability score. No incentives/consequences. The scale gives the members of the group a guideline for what behavior should be, what participation looks like and how to work together as a team. If I notice that a particular student is consistently scoring low, I will have a conversation with them about a few things they can work on. That has worked for getting participation back into shape each time! My students are reading novels that they chose, so the motivation is totally intrinsic. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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  15. I love this! I'm having difficulty finding it on your TPT site. Any tips?

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  16. I love these! I have been using them in 6th grade for a few months. I love how simple and straightforward the rubric and grading sheets are. I don't even put them on colored paper, I put them on the back of scrap paper (since I recycle the sheets). Also, I do give a consequence for mine bc they have the attitude where if there isn't a consequence then they don't do their best. For me, if 2 or more group members give a member less than a 4 then there is a consequence. (Usually an extra assignment) If the behavior happens more than two reading groups in a row then they will have to do the reading independently. I love these! Thank you!

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  17. Can you give a little more information on the rating scale? Do you have an anchor chart for this?

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    1. The rating scale is included in the download. :) Hope that helps!

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