Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller

Hi there!

Hard to believe that Easter is almost here.  Hope you have a nice spring break.  

BTW, you don't need to read Donalyn's book to blog.  Just share what works in your school or classroom.  Or comment on something that jumps out at you below.

It will be good to hear from you…
Lynn Gurnee,
CRA Past President

March Chapter 2:  “Everybody is a Reader”
  • Each chapter begins with a quote from one of Donalyn’s students.  Emily’s quote, I’ve learned that you can’t hate a book till you’ve tried it!  Bring it on.” is priceless.  Wouldn’t you love for one of your students to say that to you?  What are some things your students said that you want to capture in a journal?  Do share!
  • Donalyn said, “What I thought students needed (in my lesson plans) was not as important as how I responded to their expressed needs.”   Hmm. She realized this only after 3 years of teaching.  Does this surprise you?
  • Donalyn’s labels of 3 reading trends fascinated me… how about you?
1.        Her answer for Developing Readers (often referred to as struggling) is a heavy dose of independent reading with explicit instruction in relevant reading strategies. Her example of Kelsey who was given this “rescue recipe” transformed her to a reader!  What do you think? 
2.       Donalyn describes Dormant Readers (or unmotivated ones) who read to pass but don’t embrace reading and often escape notice like Hope who had fallen behind.  Her answer was to let Hope browse books often & have choice in what to read. What outcome can you predict?
3.        Underground Readers are those like Randy who secretly read his own books rather than those encouraged by teachers.  Donalyn embraces Cambourne’s Conditions of Learning as a way to help all of these above types of readers. Do these conditions ring a bell for you?  Do you have readers like Hope, Randy, and Kelsey?  What are you thinking now?
  •  Loved Donalyn's “whisper” about implementing “Student Surveys.”  Donalyn says her students’ needs call to her from the survey pages and she “whispers” back with books.  Do you share my excitement that Donalyn uses the survey information to stack appropriate books on desks for students to preview?