School is relatively short when you think about the way we slice the day into different periods. Kids get maybe an hour with you a day, and that’s it. And once you factor in the first and last three minutes of class, we just lose more time. However, even though it feels as if we are strapped for time, spending some of this time in the classroom reading will only be beneficial for your students, even if it is a short while. They go home, do the homework you assigned, and then forget about English as they work on the rest of their tasks and take care of their outside responsibilities. But that might be the best reason to have them read during class. Here are four reasons students should read during class
1. They might not do it on their own time.
Students these days are so overloaded with extra-curricular activities and responsibilities outside of school that they may not find the time to do the reading you assign for the next class period. By providing them with some time in class, you are providing them with a time to do the reading so they can contribute to your discussions the next day. Even if they are not reading the assigned books at this time given, reading other books for fun will also help them to appreciate their time reading.
2. It is a better way to pass the time if you get through your lesson plan quickly.
Some teachers will let their students hang out or work on work from other classes if students finish the lesson early (and I am completely guilty of this as well), but let’s face it, students can get pretty loud very quickly. And, of course, that is always when someone from the district just so happens to walk into your room. Have them read instead! Reading will engage their minds during the downtime and keep them focused on your lessons and the subject you are currently learning about. Having your students read will also allow the learning never to stop, no matter what they are reading, even if there’s little extra time at the end of the class period.
3. The extra reading time gets them interested in reading more later in the day.
Even if you can only give your students five or ten minutes to read at the end of the class period, there are still a lot of benefits to gain from this short amount of time. This is perfect as it will most likely cause the student to stop reading in the middle of a chapter. They’ll be so excited to find out what happens next in the story they will take the initiative to read on their own time. Just the process of taking time to read in the classroom will give students a positive viewpoint of reading. You encouraging them to read will boost their interest in the novel or anything else they are reading.
4. It develops the habit of reading.
Even if the student can finish the chapter during your ten minutes of reading time, they will be excited to get back to the book. Or any book, really. The time you give your students to read creates a favorable environment around reading. They will choose to return to the pastime, and it will cause them to be more prepared for class in the future. The more the students read and are given time to read in class, the more they will actually want to read. It may also be a good idea to recommend different books for fun for your students to enjoy to further this new interest.
We all know reading is an essential skill, but allowing your students to read in class whenever they can is essential not only for your class but for their development as well. Reading in the classroom is worth spending time on.
Resources for Independent Reading: