Donalyn Miller has been at the forefront of the “book whisperer” movement in American schools. To learn more about her philosophy and her ideas about how we as teachers can cultivate wild readers, check out this article featured on Scholastic.com.
Some key points:
Dedicate time to reading: If you don’t help your students to find the time to read, how can you help them value reading? We’ve made the commitment to allowing our students 10 minutes a day of reading in our classes, and the results have been awesome. Imagine high schoolers who want to come to class early so they can read.
Successfully self-select, and share books with others: It’s all about student voice and choice with the Common Core, so why not translate that to our journey to enhance the love of reading? Give students an opportunity to choose what to read. Create book lists. Encourage conversation about literature. The possibilities are endless.
Validate and expand: Praise those wild readers in your classes, don’t limit them. Teach them the appropriate times to read and when not to, but at the same time, give them opportunities to expand their repertoire as readers. Encourage new authors, titles and genres that will “push the envelope”, as Miller says.
Have any of these strategies worked for you in your teaching? Let us know!