Ten Minutes

In a stack of papers called Instruction.

  • Sep
  • 26
  • 2009

I feel like I’m going to be able to breathe again so writing more often will come after that. We all have our struggles. I have a bunch of ideas to share and am starting to lose track of where to start. Here’s my first contribution to your school year that’s already well underway, but maybe you still have time to implement this. Consider doing it in October.

Students read for ten minutes every day throughout the month of September. It’s rough to commit to the chunk of time each day and I must admit that I haven’t been able to do it every single day, but my average is good. Most of the time I’m reading during those ten minutes, too. This is terribly important, especially at the beginning. As a result, I’m seeing more students getting into what they are reading, more students bringing books with them, more investigation into what books I have on the shelves, and more curiosity about the new ones I’m putting up.

I also took some time over the summer to cut out an entire bookcase and the bottom shelf of each of the remaining three cases. Those books aren’t being read no matter how good they are because they are out of sight. This is a “less is more” situation for sure. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of books students never read, packed in easily another thirty titles, and increased the chances of a student picking a book at random that ends up being even moderately cool.

And students are interested and reading the entire time. This means good things in the future.


1. AtlTeacher says:

[4/22/2010 - 3:35 pm]

I just wanted to drop you a note of appreciation. I’m new to your blog, but I’m finding your posts refreshing because you’re offering specific ideas and details that let us peek into your classroom. Thanks! I also require my students to read the first 10 minutes of class and I read with them. I have to admit that some of them “fake read” and won’t dig into their reading unless I give them an assignment, but I think 90% of them use the time and enjoy it.

2. Todd says:

[4/26/2010 - 1:32 pm]

Atl, I really thank you for your contributions. I’ve not been writing as often lately due to several significant life changes, but you’ve managed to keep things going a bit here and that’s awesome to see.

I’m with you in terms of that percentage: about 90% seem to honestly be into the reading we do each week. We’re down to reading 2 days a week now, but we read longer on those days (juniors up to 25 and sophomores up to 15-20 minutes at a time).

More specific details and peeks into my classroom to come!