Miller has convinced me of the benefits of implementing a free-reading classroom- “allowing students to choose their own books and control most of their own decisions about their reading, writing, and thinking (which prepares) students for literate lives” better than traditional instruction. I agree that “actual reading is the most valuable classroom activity. No matter what intervention strategies you employ to support developing readers or what enrichment projects you provide to your most gifted ones, none of it is going to affect the reading achievement…the way hours of time spent reading will..” Are you convinced?
Even though it is hard or scary to give up the control, I’m ready to let go. By doing this Miller has not only inspired all of her students to love reading but she has developed such special relationships with them. Even years after leaving her room, students return to talk books. Priceless.
Yet it is sad as one student stated, “No on promotes reading like you.” Miller writes, “There needs to be more of us, and we need to get a lot louder about telling our administrators, colleagues, and parents what we believe…Students will read if we give them the books, the time and the enthusiastic encouragement to do so.”
Who else is ready to join Miller and to get loud?
I hope as you implement her approach in your classrooms that you will take time to share the books that you and your students are reading. Please feel free to leave a book recommendation so we can continue to chat about books.