I have been awakened.
I just finished reading The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child, by Donalyn Miller. It challenged everything I thought about reading instruction. It was refreshing.
I read the book in one afternoon. I was very inspired by her philosophy of reading. The premise is that she gives students time at school to read books independently. She challenges her students to read 40 books in the school year. However, she points out that 40 is just a number. Some of her students do not achieve that goal, but all her students read many more books than they had the previous year. Miller’s premise is that this kind of reading where students have a choice in what they read helps them improve. Miller does not follow a “program” or give lots of worksheets. She doesn’t even do test prep. Instead, her instruction follows a workshop approach. What Miller does is encourage habits that will foster a life-long love of reading.
I noticed that the book was published in 2009. I wish I would have read the book when it first came out. I can’t wait to try some of the things that Miller suggests. Of course, I will have to adapt it for 2nd grade. Miller teaches 6th grade. After I type this blog, I am going to create a student reading survey to help me learn more about what interests my students have. When I ordered this book, I also pre-ordered her next book called Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits. It has not yet been released. I am excited to read it.