Carving out time to read.
It’s important for everyone. That’s why I carve out 20 minutes a day for my students to read, and that time is protected. When they’re at home, they are susceptible to the lure of technology. In my class, they are free from that. We call it “Dive In”. When they hear the Yo Yo Ma cd, they know it’s Dive In time. They grab their books and jump in. Hearing the “yes!” when it’s a Dive In day is justification enough that it is 20 minutes well spent. I know that if they get into their books in the 20 minutes we read in class, more likely than not, we’ll be stopping in the middle of a good part that will just make them beg for more time. After that, I know that chances are they’re more likely to reach for that book when they get home. Who wouldn’t?
As often as I can, I read with my students. I do this for many reasons. One: It’s important for students to see the adults in their lives model a reading life. Two: When I’m not shuffling papers, talking to another student, or focused on another organization activity, the class is more focused on their reading. We are like one, zoned-in reading organism. Three: I get to read! In order to keep up with my most voracious readers, I need some time to get through my stack of books as well!
Sometimes, the 20 minutes starts or ends with me talking about what I’m currently reading, what I’m excited about reading next, or new books that are available in my classroom library. I’ll even share with students that sometimes I’m reading multiple books at a time. I’m usually reading a young adult book, an adult book of interest, a professional development book, and even a staff book club pick. Some of my students can’t even believe I can read more than ONE book at a time.
On that note, I’ll sign off by sharing what I’m currently reading!
Young Adult: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (sequel to Delirium)
Adult: I Do, Now What? By Bill & Giuliana Rancic and Nemesis by Jo Nesbo
Professional Development: Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher
Staff Book Club: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
I hope you find time to Dive In soon!