Donalyn Miller certainly proved there is a time and a place for reading, for free voluntary reading. Better writing, richer vocabularies, and increased background knowledge in science and social studies are just a few reasons, not to mention the easy planning. But how about the fact that when students are talking in class it is about the books they are reading and when they are asked to “come to a stopping place” there are moans of disappointment. How exciting that her students steal reading moments (class interruptions) and find any place to read (the shower).
“Ah, libraries.” I love them too. Even with her classroom library of over 2,000 books, she makes a point to bring her class regularly to the library. They need to know how to find book, be exposed to a larger collection, and be taught library etiquette. “Part of wearing a reader’s clothes is learning how to navigate a library and feeling at home in one.” She prepares her students for library day by talking about it, posting it, and giving it purpose. Students must have a book to return, renew, read, or a plan to get one. Then, while at the library, they are purposefully looking for a book and checking it out or they have found a place to read. And she is working with her students to find books. She stays with them, and it reinforces what her students already knows…reading is important.
Hopefully, at this point in your reading, there are points that you embrace and are ready to implement in your classroom, or there are practices that you already have in place. Please feel free to share your thoughts.