Our current unit of study in Reading Workshop is a test prep unit (click to link to a previous post about our materials and resources). We renamed it Journey Through Genres because we thought that sounded much more appealing. This also matched well with the students' reading passports (another previous post).
Lucy Calkins' A Curricular Plan for the Reading Workshop Grade 3 describes the need for increased stamina and volume during this unit. She refers to it as a Marathon Day which also fits in with our journey theme.
Tuesday is our Reading Marathon day. They get warmed up by listening to Eye of the Tiger while they get their book baggies organized and get their reading logs open. One day they ran a lap around the track with their baggies!
The students read for 60 minutes. Yes, they do. They really do. Seriously!
The boy in the blue shirt was talking to a friend of his at the end of our first marathon and he told him this was the best day he had ever had in school. He said, "can you believe she let us read for 60 minutes?!"
After they completed their first Reading Marathon, they earned gold medals at the end of the 60 minutes. Some students will wear them on Tuesdays now.
Students keep 10-12 books in their baggies now. They have a variety of genres including magazines and some passages we use in minilessons. Students also select some books that are slightly above and below their Just Right levels. This was decided on by the students because some of them found some books that "they just really needed to read please!"
My special needs students do not read for an hour,
but EVERYONE reads on Marathon Day.