Friday, February 19, 2010

About Reader's Workshop: Shh! Don't interrupt with an assembly. We're reading . . .

Yesterday we tried something new for my class. We took our books with us to our weekly assembly.

You see, I'm one of those people who never likes to be late for anything. So we're usually one of the first classes at assembly, about 5 minutes before it should start. Except it usually doesn't start for another 10-15 minutes, when the last classes have managed to squeeze into the hall. Usually this time is taken up by talking, and silly clapping games, and generally driving me crazy.

But I read The Book Whisperer over the holidays and found a new use for that time - reading! We were going to begin to 'steal' moments of the day to pick up our books and read.

It was amazing. The students sat in their two lines, opened their books and began to read. No one said a word. No one complained that they were sitting too close to other people. They just read. A few moments before the assembly began, I asked them to pass the books down and we placed them in a container - 10 extra minutes of reading up our sleeve. Even more interesting, their behaviour for the whole assembly was impeccable.

It made me wonder where else we could sneak in those extra few minutes of reading. It also made me wonder about people who 'don't have time' to read.

I was talking to a mother of a student I taught a couple of years ago. She mentioned that due to the high school work load (and this students mixture of working slow and perfectionism) he didn't have the time to read any more. That's pretty sad, I thought. I wonder how many other kids like this one have had to put aside reading 'for another time'.

Our high schools don't 'do' silent reading - that's something that's seen as fun, as a primary school thing. (Don't get me started on the whole high school vs primary school thing). But what if they were able to steal a few moments where they expected the students to read any book they liked. Would it make a difference to their school work? And further more, would it make a difference to behaviour? And is anyone brave enough to give it a try?

Read more about Reader's Workshop here

Photo from Flickr


Maura Deluca said...

This is a really good idea, and it's pretty much what I do all the time. Keep a small book handy in your pocket, for when you find yourself with 2-15 minutes of extra time. I have a Kindle, but it's exactly this reason why I love the cheap paperbacks, you don't care about stuffing them in your pocket for when you need them.

A Reader's Community said...

I buy my handbags by how many books I can fit inside :)

Carrying a book along with me and carving out reading time always seemed natural, but I don't know if the students actually know how to do it. I think today we might have a discussion about other places you can 'steal time' to read.

Angela said...

I love it! You are taking small steps to change the culture in your building!

A Reader's Community

My photo
Queensland, Australia
A Reader's Community is a place to find ideas, information, resources and recommendations about Reader's Workshop.

This Blog has five main types of posts.

About Reader's Workshop - information about Reader's Workshop in my classroom and how it works

Reader's Workshop Tools - resources you can access and use to help you with reader's workshop

Book talks - Book recommendations of two or three books centred around a particular theme

Book letters - in-depth reviews of one particular book

Reader's Workshop Links - Short links lists to help you find more information
Related Posts with Thumbnails