There is nothing better in life than reading books with my dog, Woody! Reading in the Hagan house is a special time. My husband and I read for at least 20 minutes a day. No matter how busy we think we are, we always take the time to read a good book. (A family that reads together, stays together.) Give me a book, my dog, and a small corner of the world!
Do you remember SSR (Silent Sustained Reading) and/or DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time? Teachers give students an opportunity to independently read in class. This is sacred time. I remember this being my favorite part of the school day. I carefully selected books. I forgot about my to-do list. I escaped into the pages. Most importantly, I relished in being a member of a community of readers.
In the name of test preparation and/or “instructional minutes,” sometimes teachers have had to sacrifice this reading time. I’d like to reiterate the importance of providing our students time to read, with us. If we are to develop lifelong readers, we need to make sure students see adults and peers reading. Students need time to practice their reading skills. They need to build a love for reading.
To encourage students and their families to read, I suggest creating a “Get Caught Reading” calendar with your class. May is “Get Caught Reading” month, but really any month is a good month to read. According to the “Get Caught Reading” website, this initiative is a “national campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.” During the month of May (or June, or whenever), take pictures of your students reading during SSR or DEAR time. Have students take pictures of their family members reading. Encourage a community around reading – and document it!
I recently got caught reading The Tale of Genji. Watch Invitation to World Literature‘s program on “The Tale of Genji,” and be inspired to read this great book as well.
Remember – When you get caught reading, make sure you are reading something you want to get caught reading. P.J. O’Rourke said, “Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” Just something to think about.
What are you reading with your students?