Wednesday, May 6, 2009

the book whisperer

My teacher self couldn't pass up a book titled, The Book Whisperer, by Donalyn Miller. It's an inspiring account of how one 6th grade Texas teacher instills a passion for reading in all her students.

She requires they read forty books during the year, but they get to choose. No book reports, no vocabulary lists, no work sheets. Scheduled independent reading time is hallowed in her classroom. And wouldn't you know, all readers, even so-called struggling ones, get hooked on books and improve both their reading skills and their test scores.

Of course, to achieve this, she works very hard. She creates a space filled with delicious books. She fosters an atmosphere where everyone talks about what they're reading and recommends books to each other. And she teaches language arts and reading strategies in the context of what her students are reading.

If you know a teacher, get this book into his or her hands. It could be the start of a revolution.

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