I use Reading and Writing Workshop for my language arts instruction. In the Readers Workshop component, the students maintain logs of their reading both at home and at school. They are expected to analyze their logs periodically to recognize trends in their reading logs and to make resolutions to make their reading better.
Over the years, I have tinkered with the style and form of the reading logs in my class. Each version always included several key components, including the title of the book, total time they read, and the total number of pages they read. In later versions, I would also have students write a short summary about what they read and also include their thoughts about the story so far. But there was always a problem getting students to consistently fill out the log. Students wouldn't record accurate times, or would leave sections blank to fill in later and then forget to fill them in. The biggest obstacle slowing students down was having to calculate their total number of pages and their total reading time every time they stopped reading.
So, I decided to try something different this year. I created a Google Form with the usual information the kids provide (title of book, reading at home or school, time started/stopped, starting/ending page, and some thoughts about their reading), and printed out a QR code on a label that I stuck on a bookmark for each of them. On the receiving Google Sheet, I also added two columns with formulas that automatically calculate the total number of pages read and the total time read. This streamlined that part of the process, and made it something that they didn't have to worry about.
My first iteration worked pretty well, but I needed to tweak it a little. Since all the students' data was being fed to one form, it was difficult to pull data on one particular student, and I didn't really feel like having to teach students how to use the Filter function each time they consulted their logs. So in my next version, I created individual named copies of the form for each of my students and used the new feature of Google Forms that allows you to send data to separate pages in one sheet. This created a single Google Sheet that has each student's individual reading log data on a separate page. I shared this with each of the students, so now they have access to their reading data in a format that's easier to read and analyze!
In the past, if I wanted to check in to see if students were logging their reading time, I would have to conference with the individual student. Often, I'd have to wait while students rooted through their folders, or I'd turn page after page of blank logs. Now, I can see right away if a student hasn't logged their time in a while, so I can conference with them immediately. There are still kinks to work out, but it seems to be moving in the right direction!
5th grade teacher in Princeton, NJ. Passionate about education, technology, and the New York Giants!