Tuesday, September 29, 2015

SoLSC 9.29.15 Falling into Reading


Slice of Life is a weekly event hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Like so many of you, I have a busy life.  I won't list everything here because I know the life of a parent is the same.  So little time for ourselves.

I find that I'm a reader who constantly has to find time to "read in the edges".  When I first heard that phrase from Donalyn, it made so much sense to me.  It's rare that I find an extended amount of time to read.  I read between appointments, between conversations. When I'm waiting - waiting for the next thing to start.  Time to read before bed?  Sure, until I start to nod off, which is usually about one chapter into my reading.

It's rare that I have an extended amount of time to just sit and read.  But when I do, it's amazing.  I find myself falling into my book.  I fall into the story - into the setting, into that character's lives, into their trials and tribulations.  This is when I fall in love with the craft of writing - I appreciate the beauty of the sentences and paragraphs, what the author did to craft the story into a piece of art.

I think it's important we teach our students about reading in the edges.  We know how busy they are, yet we want them to find that time to become readers, to know who they are as readers and to form habits.  But we also hope they find time to fall into a book.  To fall into a story and become engrossed in it. 

I love that Jennifer Serravallo has brought the topic of reading engagement into something we're talking more about.  Without engagement, it is difficult to teach the  rest.  

So how can you facilitate this at school?  Is there time where this can occur at school?  Can you help them know the feeling so they can recreate it at home?  To know how it feels and have them understand the satisfaction and knowledge of what it's like?  Find time.  Some students will fall easily.  Some will need guidance.  But the outcomes will be great.


  1. We always had silent reading, Michele, either before or after lunch depending on the day's schedules. I found that my most reluctant readers usually didn't 'read on the edges' but put the book off until bedtime, & like all of us, read just a little until falling asleep. I guess the best thing I did was keep trying to find the book that the reluctant reader loved, then he or she understood why they might want to "read on the edges". I did feel for some of the students. They were so, so busy with after school activities, sometimes swimming, then music lessons all on the same day!

  2. I certainly can relate to this post! My students and I take time to read together daily; but even that time can sometimes seem rushed. I love the idea of teaching them to steal those moments to read..."reading on the edge." Love it!

  3. I have a post percolating about independent reading at the middle school level. With 48 minutes per class period, finding time is always hard...but finding time I did and it was the biggest change for me this year. I have even have a few students who have "fallen' this year.

  4. When I was teaching the favourite time for all of us was the 20 to 30 minute block of reading time. It was Donalyn's book that encouraged me to do this. No worksheets, reports, just reading and listing their books read. What a special time.