No matter how long students spend engaged in direct reading instruction, without time to apply what they learn in the context of real reading events, students will never build capacity as readers. . . . Students need time to read and time to be readers. - Donalyn Miller, The Booker Whisperer, pg 51
Donalyn's focus is on 6th grade and middle school. Those of us who work with the younger ones know just how difficult it is to have them stay focused for such long periods of time. If your included in that group I recommend that you take up time to build up their reading endurance. A great way to do this is to start off, at the beginning of the school year, with just a few minutes a day and then gradually increase the time spend reading as the year goes along.
I loved the authors suggestions about ways to find time for reading in the classroom, even when your school district doesn't have time allocated for silent reading. One of the times she mentioned that students could steal some time to read is during picture day. Although that's just one day out of the school year, and I don't see how an activity on only one day will make that much difference in the reading outcomes of your students, I can testify that its great for classroom management on those days.
I remember that back when I was a student teacher and it was about time for my kids to go and wait for their pictures, that I dreaded trying to find a way to keep them quiet in the halls for however long they would have had to wait. As it turns out they had to wait about 20 mins because they had fallen behind from previous classes. Luckily my classroom wasn't so far away from where they were taking the pictures so I had a chance to take my class back and start a read aloud. When is was time to go out in the hall and wait again. I had the students sit next to the wall and walked up and down the hall showing my students the rest of the pictures of the story. (We hadn't finished the book yet.) I also asked them to try and figure out how the story was going to end only by looking at the pictures of the story.
This technique worked perfectly and my class was so good in the hall that we even got compliments that they where the best behaved class that had gone through yet.
Well, I guess that's all I had to say about the chapter. I highly recommend that you read the book yourselves.