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Classroom Strategies

Collaborative Strategic Reading Learning Logs

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Background

Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is a technique that teaches students to work cooperatively on a reading assignment to promote better comprehension. CSR learning logs are used to help students keep track of learning during the collaboration process. Students think about what they are reading and write down questions/reflections about their learning. The completed logs then provide a guide for follow-up activities and evaluation methods.

Benefits

CSR learning logs may be used across various units of study which offers teachers flexibility for implementation. CSR learning logs provide written documentation of learning, encourage all students to participate actively in their groups, and become excellent study guides. CSR learning logs also assist teachers with recording IEP progress for special education students.

Create and use the strategy

Introduce students to the selected text and discuss the specific CSR assignment. Prior to reading, students should be:

  1. grouped according to varying reading levels
  2. provided a set of guidelines for writing their logs (planned activities for logs might include impromptu writing; note taking; or diagram drawing)
  3. asked to write what they already know about the topic

As students read they should record information learned or questions about the text. Recordings may be written in a notebook, handout, or class-made journals. Students then enter their reaction after reading a text. Teachers should monitor entries, respond to questions, and clarify confusions.

Further reading

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References

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1989). Cooperative learning: What special educators need to know. The Pointer, 33, 5-10.

Klingner, J., & Vaughn, S. (1998). Using Collaborative Strategic Reading. Retrieved 2008, February 21, from http://www.teachingld.org/pdf/teaching_how-tos