Read Across America week is probably my favorite week of the year, because I love reading and love any opportunity to promote it. We celebrate reading in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday (on March 2) this week and encourage all of our students/families to celebrate reading together. What is great about Dodgeland, is that this doesn’t happen just during Read Across America Week. You all do a tremendous job of sharing your reading lives with your students, modeling a passion for reading each day, and having classroom practices that promotes building lifelong reading habits.
I am currently reading Donalyn Miller’s latest book, Reading in the Wild in which she shares habits of “Wild Readers” (as a result of surveying over 800 adult readers). I plan to share each of these habits with you throughout the next few weeks.
Habit 1: Wild Readers Dedicate Time to Read
The #1 excuse to not read is not having time. Parenting, work, housework, homework, etc. all excuses to not read. But Wild Readers make time to read. They read during small moments throughout the day when they can “steal” an opportunity to read. What about reading logs to keep track of time? Most wild readers don’t keep track of their time, they don’t have a concrete amount of time that they’ve read, because they often just sneak in those times throughout the day to read. Miller points out how a mandate of reading 30 minutes a night can often be interpreted by students as 30 solid minutes. If they don’t have 30 consecutive minutes (because of their busy schedules) then they’ll likely just not read at all, not realizing that 5 minutes here and there can add up throughout the day. How can you share these kinds of ideas with your students to help them learn about ways to find time to read? I hope that our “reading storms” this week can help prompt the idea that we can “steal” minutes of reading throughout the day.
As you think about your classroom and Daily 5 block, does your structure give students enough time to read each day? Donalyn Miller points out that we cannot blame parents when kids don’t read at home and then neglect the need for daily reading time at school. It is easy for interruptions, special projects, unfinished work to sneak it’s way into the Daily 5 routine, taking away from students’ time to read. Please be the protector of that time, because every reading minute for our students is precious!