The first thing I noticed about Donalyn Miller’s article is that she teaches sixth grade students. That is the exact grade where I need the most advice. Many of my students already have good reading skills, but a very few are in the lower skill category.
I was happy to find that many of her recommendations seemed to be books that I believe my less enthusiastic readers would enjoy.
I was also intrigued with her requirement that any empty time in class should be spent reading. Most of my students have the habit of doing this. A few need to pick up a few more good habits! I encourage other creative outlets, so I really don’t mind if a student chooses time to draw, or even write during their small amounts of free time.
Another interesting point in the article in the list of top five things to inspire children to read, was to model my own reading, and to talk about the books I am reading, or have read. When I am searching the library for a particular book, one of my non-readers is the first to be at my side helping in the search. I’m hoping it’s just a matter of time before I win him over! It really hits home when I find the exact book I had read many years before in our little library.
I was also intrigued by the fact that reading along in their own book while being read to is a good way to improve a reader’s skills. I will be using that strategy soon.
Having an audio book available for challenged readers seems to be a very good strategy. I am hoping to find a good combination for this category.
I am also very happy to read that writing an essay or book report is not necessary. Thank goodness!