For years, the kids’ teachers have been suggesting that they keep track of their after-school and weekend reading in little notebooks. This year, however, we seem to be at a crossroads. Now that Bea’s a little older, her teacher expects his students to be independent in terms of their reading habits. Still, Bea likes to have a sense of what she’s accomplished. And Tobes, well, with such a busy life at a busy new school, Tobes seems to have completely misplaced his reading log from the first week of school. So, we took matters into our own hands.
Any of you who are familiar with our Summer of Funner Yesterday Books know that we are big fans of creating cover-art for our summer-time journals. For the Lunchbox Season, we decided to make Reading Logs with a similar kind of flair as our summer journals. This time, though, the focus was not on teaching a particular style of art for the covers of our blank books [as with our Pop-Art Animal Olympians], but with getting the kids to be more comfortable with the computer.
Yesterday afternoon, I picked up a pair of lovely Fabriano EcoQua dotted notebooks at our local DeSerres for less than $4 each. [ The kids love them because they are covered in tons of tiny equidistant dots as opposed to graph paper or lines. [If you are a fan of the game Dots, a.k.a. Dots and Boxes, you’ll definitely be a fan of these!] Then, last night, after a very noisy piano practice, the kids measured, resourced, designed, printed, and coloured their own printable stickers for the fronts of their reading logs. Bea chose a Fox, and Tobes, a Wombat! A full DIY is below.
But, What Goes on in a Reading Log? Inspired by some recent discussions of the importance of teaching kids cursive writing [More on that with our upcoming Multiplication Tables Post], I thought it would be a good idea for the kids to rule their own paper and to make their own tables each week in order to track their progress. To that end, I created a printable Reading Log Prompt for Older Kids to stick or glue into the inside front covers of the reading logs. For the wee ones in our extended family and in your own household, I’ve also created a fun,double-sided printable Weekly Reading Log for Little Ones that can be reproduced and inserted into a duotang, 3-ring binder or other folder. Pdf and JPEG links are at the end of this DIY, under Prompt Options.
Blank Books or 3-pronged Folders/Duo-tangs
White Sticky-Backed Paper or Plain White Paper & Glue or Clear Tape
Computer and Printer or The Desire to Write & Draw By Hand
Markers, Gel Pens, Coloured Pencils, or Crayons
Soft Pencil or Chalk
Looking at your blank book or duo-tang, decide upon the size you’d like your cover-art to be.
Measure the length and width of this cover-art with a ruler.
[Extra Credit: Have the kids add the length and width, twice, to tell you the perimeter or multiply the length and width to tell you the area of their images]
Decide on the type of animal, flower or object you’d like to have on your cover.
Computer & Printer Option
Use a popular search engine like Google to look for “images,” the name of a favourite “animal, flower, or object” and a “colouring page.”
[We searched for “Images Fox Colouring Page” and “Images Wombat Colouring Pages”]
Find an image worth reproducing.
[Bea found her fox here, and Tobes found his wombat here.]
Take a screen shot of that image.
[On our mac, that’s Command/Shift/F4. Most Windows machines have a Print Screen key. Or, you can use the Snipping Tool]
Open or upload the image into your own photo editing software or a free online photo editing site like ipiccy or fotoflexer.
[We’ve been using ipiccy quite a lot lately.]
Use your program’s “resize” or “crop” features to make the images a similar length and width to the length and width the kids have decided upon.
[We resized to 1400 x 1200 and 1400 x 1300, respectively, to coordinate with the kids’ 14×12 and 14×13 cm preferred sizes.]
Use your program’s “sticker” and “text” features to add graphics and words to the images.
[We added a speech bubble to Tobes’ wombat, and “KidName’s Reading Log” to both.]
Print the image onto a sheet of white sticky-backed paper or onto a plain white sheet of paper.
Colour the image with markers, gel pens, coloured pencils or crayons.
Using a pencil, mark the area of the cover art on a sheet of sticky or white paper and have the child sketch an animal, flower or object, write their name or title, and colour the scene.
Attaching the Image
Using a ruler and pencil or chalk, draw a rectangle around the image the length and width of your preferred cover art.
Using a ruler and pencil or chalk, draw a rectangle the length and width of the cover art on the cover of the blank notebook or duo-tang.
Cut out the cover-art with scissors.
Remove the adhesive backing and carefully stick the cover art onto the blank notebook or duo-tang using your pencilled or chalked-in rectangle as a guide.
Tape or glue the cover-art to the cover of the blank notebook or duo-tang using your pencilled or chalked-in rectangle as a guide.
Size and Print this pdf version of The Lunchbox Season’s Reading Log Prompt for Older Kids or copy and paste the image below on sticky-backed or plain paper and attach it to the inside front cover of the Reading Log.
Smaller Kids can make cover art for a 3-pronged file folder/duo-tang. Then, they can print multiple copies of this pdf, The Lunchbox Season’s Weekly Reading Log for Little Ones, or the jpeg images to hole-punch and put inside. You can also contact me for word documents.
NOW READ, TALLY, & ENJOY!
P.S.: If you like this post, you’ll probably love our Homemade Childrens’ Bookplates: