Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn’t turn into a reader. No matter how far behind Miller’s students might be when they reach her 6th grade classroom, they end up reading an average of 40 to 50 books a year. Miller’s unconventional approach dispenses with drills and worksheets that make reading a chore. Instead, she helps students navigate the world of literature and gives them time to read books they pick out themselves. Her love of books and teaching is both infectious and inspiring. The book includes a dynamite list of recommended “kid lit” that helps parents and teachers find the books that students really like to read.
The above blurb says it all. She lets the kids pick the books they want to read and gives them time to read in class.
I am sure there are going to be people who say they can’t afford the time for reading. They have to cover all the standards to prepare the students for “the test.” Anybody remember when it was consider a terrible thing to admit “teaching to the test?”
Anyway, Donalyn Miller’s students do score well on the state mandated tests. She is teaching them to read and to comprehend what they read. How can that not help on a test?
This book is not a theory book or an ivory tower book. The author gives solid tips on how to find the time for reading, how to build a classroom library, etc.
As the school librarian, my concern is whether or not the kids are reading. I do not care whether the book comes from the school library, classroom library, public library, or from home. I just want them to read.
I plan to offer my sixth grade teachers a deal. If they will read The Book Whisperer AND implement class reading time, I will use my Scholastic Dollars to purchase books for their room. Let’s see how open they are to bribes. -grin-