When I was teaching elementary students I just loved reading conferences. I looked forward to sitting with each student individually and hearing all about his or her independent reading book. We would talk about comprehension and I would do my best to determine how I could help students improve their skills. The best part was sharing in the joy of reading. Although I knew this was one of the most important things I could do to help students become better readers, I realized there was a huge tradeoff for the class. I remember one year in particular when I had 29 kids in my class, all with many needs. Every time I would begin conferencing with a student, somebody else would demand my attention. There were many weeks that I couldn’t get the time to see each student. When I did sit down with a student I was often distracted and didn’t really focus the conference in a way that yielded results. I wasn’t getting at the important aspects of comprehension or really providing the guidance my kids needed to move forward with their reading. The worst part was missing out on sharing the joy. If I didn’t get to a particular student it would just crush me to see the disappointment on that student’s face. Overall, I just never thought I was giving my students enough.
Classhopper Bookmark is my attempt to help you give your students more support with independent reading. With this new tool, your kids will be able to time their own reading and answer comprehension questions (verbally) that are tailored to your state’s reading standards. You will be able to listen to a student’s response and determine if the response demonstrates mastery of the standard. You can toss the handwritten log books and charts that you used to use to track independent reading and see all of the information you need quickly and easily on your iPad. Now, when you do have time to meet individually with a student, you will be able to target your questions at the area of need. Most importantly, you will be able to share the sheer joy of reading with each student and with your entire class. It is my hope that Classhopper Bookmark will help you feel like you are giving your students what they need to become joyful, competent, confident, independent readers.