I recently attended the Teacher’s College Reader’s Workshop. One of the biggest takeaways was allowing students opportunities to read many books throughout the year, helping them build their reading stamina. Lucy Calkins believes that students should read at least an hour a day and recommended having students read 30 minutes at school and then 30 minutes at home.
Another takeaway was that when giving students time to read, it is essential not to put pressure on writing about their reading. Students need time to read without interruptions. Instead, they promote giving students time to share and discuss their thoughts with their peers. So a session might look like 30 minutes of reading and then 5-10 minutes of sharing about their reading with a partner.
Moving forward, I am hoping to implement some changes to my reading program. This year I am excited to experiment with having the students use a reading journal so they can jot their thoughts inside and keep track of their growth. We would journal when reading solo or while we are reading as a whole group. I also want to give students more opportunities to discuss their reading with peers, inspiring each other to explore a variety of books based on peers recommendations and discussions.