I believe it is very important for students to spend time reading each day. My goal is to give them at least twenty minutes in class to spend reading.
This doesn't always happen. Some days we don't get twenty minutes. Some days we get so lost in reading we end up reading for the entire class. I figure it all even outs in the end.
When it is reading time, I'm pretty strict about how they use their time. They can read, take AR test, or even discuss their book with a friend - as long as they are really discussing.
It is not time to play or work on other assignments.
Today one of my students asked if he could write a letter to his dad instead of reading. This particular student HATES writing.
His dad is in jail. Writing letters is the only way he has of communicating with his dad right now.
Sometimes there are things more important than reading.