No Fuss Reading Logs for Upper Elementary

No Fuss Reading LogsUse these No Fuss Reading Logs to help your students create an enjoyable, daily habit of reading at home.

One of the most memorable moments in my teaching career was when I realized that I was making my students hate reading.

Not long enough ago, I used to send home traditional reading logs.

I asked parents to help their kids fill out the names of the books, the author, the number of pages, the time they spent reading, and sometimes they even had to answer a short journal prompt or talk about the main idea.

Parents were frustrated with this process because they just wanted to spend time with their kids reading, not filling out paperwork, and my students’ love of reading was starting to wane. Nightly reading became a chore when it was attached to exhaustive record keeping and documentation, especially during the sleepy hours right before bedtime.

I knew after getting some feedback from the parents and students, that I needed to make a change. 

The goal of the reading logs was to encourage students to read a certain amount every night, so they could grow in fluency and reading comprehension while also creating a habit and routine that incorporated reading into their days. My traditional reading logs were asking for that and a whole lot more, so I decided to get rid of the ‘whole lot more’ part.

My new No Fuss Reading Logs are focused on making reading more fun, documenting the number of minutes each week students spend reading, and encouraging nightly reading without all the other stuff that takes the fun out of it.

What is a No Fuss Reading Log?

My No Fuss Reading Logs require students and parents to keep track of one thing each month (pages or minutes). Did the student spend 10 minutes reading tonight? Great! Color in a crayon or a pumpkin or a flower. Sometimes the log provides students with specific challenges to read in different locations too! It’s the little things that help with engagement and keeping the reading fun. 

This No Fuss Reading Log set includes a fresh reading log for each month (including summer months for schools or homeschoolers that don’t follow the traditional school schedule). For example, in May students color in flowers, and in September students are challenged to read in silly locations. If they read in the bathtub, then they can color in the apple with that suggestion in it. 

At the end of each month, all the teacher needs to do is collect the sheets and pass out the new month’s sheet. I had my students keep the monthly log inside a plastic sleeve in their homework binder, so I could check in on them throughout the month and provide encouragement and praise. (Want another clever idea for organizing students’ homework binder? (Check out this post!)

Nightly Reading Without the StressNo Fuss Reading Logs are made with teachers in mind

Over the years, I’ve realized that with a couple easy edits, I can make these No Fuss Reading Logs very easy for other teachers to use.

First, I update them every summer with the weekly dates for the next year. Therefore, once a teacher purchases the logs, they can download the set with the updated dates the following fall before school begins. With no extra work on the teacher, the logs are ready for a new year!

Second, I have made a version with the number of pages and the number of minutes editable, so the teachers can adapt the expectations to the needs of their students.

Third, on the pages that ask students to read in silly locations, I have purposefully left a few spots blank, so students (or teachers) can add some of their own ideas to the pages.

All three of these decisions were made with the goal of making these Reading Logs as ‘No Fuss’ as possible for everyone involved!

Why do No Fuss Reading Logs work so well?

These No Fuss Reading Logs are designed to motivate students to read at home, without all the fuss of recording time, titles, pages, authors, etc. They are easy for teachers to implement and easy for parents to manage at home. They are also easy to check! My students really enjoyed the simplicity and variety of these reading logs, and I hope yours will too!


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