Reading Thoughts

“Trust the books and get out of their way so they can teach.” ~Alan Purves

I’ve been delving into reading lately. From our all-school reading focus this year to my PYP weekend workshop on reading and writing through inquiry, I’m immersed in reading. My students are back to reading every morning after a short hiatus to do some typing. They still need the typing skills, but we love our reading time.

In my Lucy Calkins Reading Workshop book today, I read that for a student to maintain their level as a reader, they need to read for 2 hours/day (at home, school, across all disciplines). Told my students that today. They had big amazed eyes.

How much do my students read everyday? Anywhere from 25 minutes (20 of them in class) to 2 hours, they told me.

I asked them when they’ve been excited as a reader.

  • reading under my blankets until I fall asleep
  • when my dad read to me when I was 5
  • when a new book in a series I love comes out.
  • when I first started reading chapter books in 1st grade
  • never

After some quick discussions, I am quickly getting a feel for who loves reading and who doesn’t get into it. I’m trying to especially help those who aren’t passionate. My goal, and I’m hoping our school goal will be: every student becomes a lifelong reader.


When we visit the library, we often hold literature circles (which they love), but we often don’t take time to check out books. During our morning reading time, some are at a loss. So, today, I asked them what they loved–just anything. We made a list, and they spit out ideas from soccer to cooking to science. We then listed genres of fiction they liked to read.

Then I gave them the task: find 2 books you want to read. They could be nonfiction or fiction.

They scattered, asked the librarians and me. Within 15 minutes, they had a stack of books and were hanging out…reading.

It was a beautiful scene. I’ve still got some work to do with those that struggle, but we’re spending time on reading from now until ….forever.

“If our goal is for children to grow as readers, the one single thing they most need is time to read.” ~Lucy Calkins



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