July 1, 2011

Book Whisperer Part 4

More insights from Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer

Chapter 6 - Cutting the Teacher Strings
Unexamined Wallpaper - classroom practices and institutional policies that are so entrenched in school culture and a teacher's paradigm that their ability to affect student learning is never probed. (p. 122)
Think instead. What are the goals? How can I make the practice more motivating to my students and more in line with what I know about reading?

Whole Class Novels Disadvantages
No piece of text can meet the needs of all the readers, it takes forever, decreases comprehension, ignores student interest, wastes time on activities, and punishes readers who have read it before.
As someone who hated reading books as a class I know this is true. Teachers would never believe me when I said I had finished. They just gave me more busy work. Drove me crazy.

Reading the book aloud to your class or share reading where you read and they follow along. Look at extension activities. Do they involve reading, writing, and discussion?
Book groups based on a theme or concept. Start with questions you want answered. Gather books. Let the student preview them, rate them, and pick their top three groups. Look at reading levels, potential management problems, and number of books.
Use short stories, excerpts or poems to teach literary elements or reading skills

Teaching Tests as a Genre
Teach them how they are designed, terms used, the skills and knowledge they are trying to test, and how to find the answer.
An interesting idea. I agree that the terms used should be taught. Angelia from Extra Special Teaching posted a great game with some of these words. Reading Vocabulary (I heart how google reader made that so easy to find. Love it!)

Book Commercials 
Short testimonials about books they have read and enjoyed. Model. Teach what to say. Teach what not to say. Teach how to use the book. Students can then write the book down on their Books to read if they are interested. Use a simple checklist to make sure each child participates and one child does not dominate the class.

Book Reviews 
Read reviews, book jacket blurbs and teasers. What information is included? What words do they use?

  • Quotes from the book
  • Quotes from famous people
  • Cliffhanger Questions
  • Personal reactions and opinions
  • Awards the book or author has won
  • Recommended reading age
  • Other books by the same author
  • Comparisons with other books

Audio Books 
I need to get more for my classroom. Maybe it is time to break out audacity and record my own.

End of Year Evaluation
I recreated her survey and loaded it to TPT. It's FREE! So if you can use it please feel free to download it. Just click on the picture below! Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking up!!
    Thinking of Teaching