Day Three: Ignite the Passion for Reading with Time to Read

Just as Major League ballplayers must practice every day, readers need to READ every day. Every. Single. Day. I hear more and more about classrooms around the country where students are forced to complete activities during reading class that have little or nothing to do with reading. It’s sad, really, because the disservice is done to the children. The students want to do their best — earn the best grades, do the best work, read the best books…but students don’t get to choose the classroom lesson (at least not as a general rule). Many times, the teachers don’t even get to formulate their own classroom lesson plans, but must stick to fidelity of a program in the name of higher student achievement scores. What about fidelity to reading in the name of higher reading scores?

I could go off on a tangent here, and I would, but TIME is the key today. We want students to have passion — to love reading. Well, then, they must have TIME to read. Penny Kittle, Kelly Gallagher, Donalyn Miller, Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, Lucy Calkins, and many other teachers/researchers agree that increasing reading time — even10 minutes a day of student-choice, independent reading — can raise reading achievement scores. Remember, those standardized scores are not the end-all-be-all, though. We want joyful readers, passionate readers, lifelong readers.

Give students time to read. Help ignite the passion for reading!

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This blog series, All Kinds of Readers, addresses ways teachers cope with the “I-don’t-like-to-read” readers. I have struggled with this for years. I’ve read, researched, and read some more. (I love to read!) How can I get students to find the passion, the joy of reading? Join me as I try to find solutions that work. Add your comments and questions to the conversation. Welcome to the blog!