How 30 Minutes a Day Built a School of Readers

ELSummerCover2011_blogWhat can you do with just 30 minutes of reading instruction a day?

Not much, feared middle school English teacher and reading coach Kathy King-Dickman. In “Learning to Love Reading in 30 Minutes a Day,” she tells how, despite limited time, she and her coteachers turned a group of mostly nonreaders into capable and enthusiastic bookworms.

The “a-ha!” moment in King-Dickman’s journey is when she discovers comprehension strategies won’t stick unless she’s first taught students awareness of their own metacognition—to know when their reading breaks down and when to employ comprehension strategies that good readers use.

From here, small, teacher-led, reading workshop–modeled groups used their 30 minutes a day to grow from learning how to read books to wanting to read books. King-Dickman unpacks this process as well, providing steps for helping students choose books that interest them, tips for monitoring independent reading, comprehension strategy think sheets, and reading list examples for structured literacy circles.

With the right structure and support, limited time did not impede these readers. If you can get students to learn to love reading, King-Dickman found, they will make time for it.

What’s your best tool for getting students to love reading?