Expectations for Reading this Year

  • Read as much as you can, as joyfully as you can.
  • Read at home for at least a half an hour every day, seven days a week.
  • Find books, authors, subjects, themes, and genres that matter to YOU, your life, who you are now, and who you might become.
  • Try new books, authors, subjects, purposes, and genres. Expand your knowledge, your experience, and your appreciation of literature.
  • On the to-read page in your goodreads account, keep a running list of the titles and authors you’d like to try, especially in response to book talks and recommendations. A list may be kept inside your reader's notebook in the reading section if you do not have a goodreads account.
  • Write a blog every week about what you noticed and appreciated about a book you’re reading. Consider the writing you read – how the book made you think and feel, what the author did, what worked, what needs more work.
  • Recognize that there are different approaches to reading and different stances readers take in relation to different texts – for example, contemporary realistic fiction is different from a poem, which is different from a chapter in your history book, which is different from a newspaper editorial.
  • Develop and articulate your own criteria for selecting and abandoning books.
  • Every six weeks, establish and work toward significant goals for yourself as a reader.
  • In every reading workshop, engage and respond with your whole heart and mind. Enter the READING ZONE and stretch your imagination, live other lives and learn about your own, find prose and poetry so well written it knocks you out, experience and understand problems and feelings you might never know, find stories that make you happy and feed your soul, consider how writers have written and why, acquire their knowledge, ask questions, escape, think, travel, ponder, laugh, cry, love, and grow up.

Rules for Reading Workshop
  1. You must read a book. I love reading magazines but rarely do the articles affect and sustain me as books do. Magazines and newspapers don’t offer the extended chunks of prose you need to develop fluency. More important, they won’t help you discover who you are as a reader of books.
  2. Don’t read a book you don’t like. Don’t waste time with a book you don’t love, when there are so many great titles out there waiting for you – unless you’ve decided to finish it so you can criticize it. Do develop your own criteria and system for abandoning an unsatisfying read.
  3. If you don’t like your book, find another. Browse the class room library, school library, and books on display. Check your list of someday books. Ask me or a friend for a recommendation. Go to the wiki and use a link to guide you to good sites.
  4. It’s more than all right to reread a book you love. This is something good readers do.
  5. It’s okay to skim or skip parts of a book if you get bored or stuck; good readers do this, too.
  6. On your goodreads page, record the title of every book you finish or abandon, its genre and author, the date, and your rating. Collect data about yourself as a reader, look for patterns, and take satisfaction in your accomplishments over time.
  7. Understand that reading is thinking. Try to do nothing that distracts others from the reading zone: don’t put your words into their brains as they’re trying to escape into the worlds of words created by the suthors of books they love. When you confer with me about your reading, use as soft a voice as I use when I talk to you: whisper.
  8. Take care of our books. Remember, my books are my babies so treat them as you would a baby - carefully. Sign out each book you with me, then sign it back in with me – I’ll draw a line through the title when you’re ready to return it. Shelve the returned book in its section in our library, alphabetically by the author’s name.
  9. Read the whole time.
  10. Read as much as you can.


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