Skip to main content

Independent Readers are Wild Readers - #cyberPD Part I

I am currently reading Donalyn Miller's book, Reading in the Wild as part of this summer's #cyberPD book study co-hosted over at the Literacy Zone blog. The idea is to read two chapters at a time and write a blog post that is then linked back to one of the participating blogs for this book study.

Source: http://donalynmiller.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/reading-in-the-wild.jpg?w=226&h=300

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519lHx-UOzL.jpg

Reading in the Wild is a follow-up to Donalyn's first book, The Book Whisperer, which promoted "free voluntary reading" in the classroom as a way to develop a love of reading in students. In this second book, Donalyn takes these ideas a step further by describing the kind of attitudes and behaviours commonly exhibited by "wild readers", or readers who love to read so much they always have a book in their hand, no matter where they go. The attitudes and behaviours of wild readers, as identified in this book, are the following: dedicating time to read; self-selecting reading material; sharing books and reading with other readers; having reading plans; and showing preferences for genres, authors and topics p. xxiii - xxiv). How teachers can foster these behaviours in the classroom is the general topic of this book.

The theme that is continuously woven through the first two chapters is that of developing independent readers. I am sure this theme will be present in small and big ways in the rest of the book. Independence is an important teaching concept for me, not just in teaching reading but in all aspects of classroom life. Since I teach students to be independent from the first day of school, I found immediate affinity with the ideas presented in Donalyn's book. Of course, the road to independence isn't about letting kids loose to figure it out on their own. On the contrary, it's about taking advantage of opportunities, both planned and unplanned, to teach students how to become independent through one-on-one conferences, and small and whole group lessons. The primary goal that Donalyn Miller, with Susan Kelley, has set out to demonstrate in Reading in the Wild is that the independent behaviours of wild readers can and should be taught to students.

I am looking forward to continuing to read this book and to implement the ideas presented here in my new assignment as a classroom teacher.

Cross posted to Reflect and Refine.  
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Reading Strategies Book - Chapter 12, Supporting Students’ Conversations – Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension

The strategy lessons highlighted in Chapter 12, Supporting Students’ Conversations – Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension, in The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo are critical to students’ engagement and comprehension, as well as their ability to write literary essays, or even book reviews, summaries and reflective pieces about books. If students aren’t able to talk about books in a way that is invigorating and joyful, they will be less likely to develop an interest in growing ideas for writing about books.
In her introduction to this chapter, Jennifer Serravallo, reminds us that when conversations go well, children are inspired by what they read and are motivated to keep reading. However, when conversations fall flat, then kids get bored and tune out. How do we avoid this situation and teach kids to have focused conversations about books? The answer is easy: teach kids strategies to help them develop effective conversational skills. 

As in other blog posts a…

Saying Goodbye

I can't get used to saying goodbye to my daughters even though we've been doing it for the past 10 years. You'd think it gets easier, but it doesn't. It still feels like the first time.

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.*
At the airport, I watch families with their young children and try to remember what it was like when my girls were little. What I felt like. What I was doing at the time. What we weren't doing. Was I even aware of the passage of time?

When my kids were little I lived so much in the moment that there was no time to reflect on the fact that our time as a family was measured. Sooner than we were ready, we would have to let them go. Send them on their way. Wish them an abundance of everything, but especially of love, health and joy. 

They come through you, but not from you.* 
I nod and smile, a li…

Partner Reading and Content, Too Routine (PRC2)

I'm a hoarder.
There, I've said it.
I try to deny that I'm a hoarder but it comes back to haunt me every time I move houses, or pack up my classroom at the end of the school year.
I have old articles, lesson plans, handouts, folders brimming with teaching ideas, past issues of profesional journals. I hardly throw anything out though I've learned to be more selective over the years. My one rule of thumb, and I really try to stick to this, is that if I haven't used or referred to something in a year, then it's time to toss it into the recycle bin. One exception to this rule (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) is past issues of journals from professional organizations. However, with the ability to locate articles online through my professional memberships, even this exception is becoming less and less useful, which brings me to the topic of this blog post.
I am currently reading a copy of The Reading Teacher from 2010. I've clipped a couple of informat…