Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you. The NAIR I mean is Nonfiction: Accountability of Independent Reading. I'm giving you this cool commercial so you can get your fill of short-shorts, catchy jingles, and hair removal. Then perhaps we can move on and discuss all things teachery.
The first thing I want to say about NAIR is that I think I made it up. I've heard of GRAIR. Guided Reading Accountability Independent Reading. I just switched the GR for the N of nonfiction. Sometimes I can be clever that way. ;) Please don't expect that degree of cleverness every time you visit. I'm not good with pressure.
I've been writing a lot about fostering a nonfiction-rich middle school classroom. You can read about the "Golden Age of Nonfiction" here, and some great classroom ideas here. Getting kids to read nonfiction isn't difficult at all, due to the high quality texts available now. The tricky part is holding kids accountable.
It's easy to come up with 1,000 ways to hold kids accountable when they are reading a narrative. But not all nonfiction has a narrative structure. And if we look at nonfiction as topic based, which would mean we can accept a book or the reading of a collection of nonfiction articles, ongoing and meaningful assessment is even more difficult.
Nonfiction Accountability Reading Response Logs
Since necessity is the mother of invention, I created Nonfiction Accountability Reading Response Logs and I couldn't be more pleased with them.
Why am I so pleased with them? To begin with, they are easy to grade. They also address every single Common Core Standard for informational text, and the standard and "I Can" statements are on every page. Kids can complete as many a week as you would like them to, and they have a choice of questions to answer (differentiation, folks!). They also work for books and/or articles, regardless of the structure.
But the best, most amazing, phenomenal thing about them? This.
It may not be a cool jingle about hair removal. But it's music to my ears.
(Please note: All names have been changed to protect the identity of Ron Leishman's cartoon characters.)