- Readers have richer lives than those who do not read. It has been found that teachers tend to teach how they were taught. Let students choose their own books because this will spark their interest in completing assignments. Having students read the same whole-class novels and then completing worksheets is not the way to form lifelong readers. Each lesson, conference, and assignments should lead students away from the teacher and toward their autonomy as literate people. Instead of picking books to teach, Donalyn Miller teaches comprehension strategies and literary elements that student can apply to a wide range of texts. She tried to establish the best workshop structure:
- Reader’s notebooks to manage independent reading;
- Reading requirements based on genre to encourage student choice;
- Assigned book talks as alternatives to book reports.
her love of books and show students what it means to live as a reader.
To Use in Your Classroom
- When writing lessons for students, make a general template. Students perform better and enjoy reading more when they can do an assignment with their own books. “On those rare opportunities when I allowed my students to choose their own books, their interest in completing assignments was sparked” (Miller 14)
- Readers notebook straight from Fountas & Pinnell to assess student reading
Reading list: includes title, author, date the book was finished (or abandoned) and the student’s assessment on how difficult the
book was to read.
Books-to-read list: future reading.
Response entries: letters to teacher about how the book is going.
- Reading genre requirements (certain amount of books from each genre per year in no specific order) gives children more leeway yet a sense of responsibility. Gives them a chance to enjoy reading!
- Book talks to replace book reports. Relieves some of the stress and the thought of requirement on the child to make the book a more enjoyable read.