“Creating Readers”

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!
Our "Treasure" Chest, where many of our new books are now stored. Since our reading series is "Treasures," I fancied up this bookcase to make it a little more fun.

Our “Treasure” Chest, where many of our new books are now stored. Since our reading series is “Treasures,” I fancied up this bookcase to make it a little more fun.



4 thoughts on ““Creating Readers”

  1. Glad you found some useful things in this article! Miller’s new book, Reading in the Wild, has many important strategies for helping our students build lasting reading lives. Much of what we do in this class is based on her work with her 5th- and 6th-graders, so hopefully Children’s Lit will also be applicable to your classroom!


  2. I love your bookcase! What a great idea. You talked about audio books for the challenged reader. I think that this is a very good way to get students reading. In seventh grade my daughter had to explore different reading styles and audio reading was one of them. Also in the seventh grade literature class I’m in the teacher uses audio books for some of the books that class is required to read. I think that this really helps the struggling readers with some books they would never be able to read. Do you use audio books in your classroom?


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