Monday, October 27, 2014

The Book Whisperer : Chapter 6

Missed the previous chapters?  Read them here!

The Book Whisperer.png

I can't believe I have ONE chapter left after this one! This has been an amazing book that really has transformed my way of thinking about the reading component in my classroom. I really encourage everyone to get their own copy and read it. It's an easy read, and very thought provoking. I bet it'll change the way you teach reading in your classroom!

Cutting the Teacher Strings

Chapter 6 is a long one, but very interesting. She gives reasons why traditional reading practices don't work, such as whole-class novels, comprehension tests, book reports and reading logs and then gives us a list of alternatives that would really enhance our reading programs in our classrooms.

She understands that most of us are mandated to teach reading strategies or are required to teach certain books or novels, but she gives us alternative ways to teach what we have to teach, all while making sure students read what they want to read.

While reading this chapter, I couldn't help but think back to my classroom. Where students had to read what I forced them to read, and answer questions based on different reading strategies. I taught the strategies one by one, having students practice that strategy over and over again. I remember questioning this practice once when students who obviously had no issues reading were forced to do this work that just made reading awful. But I never actually stopped this practice. I never sat back and tried to think of a way to change my classroom for the better.

So this is it for me. No more comprehension tests, no more forced book reports, no more reading logs. I can teach what I have to teach while students read what they want to read.
Developing readers don't need more reading strategies to help them. They need to read. What's the point of throwing more strategies at them that is simply taking away from reading time? Plus, have you ever noticed how students can recite to you what the reading strategies are and yet they don't always apply them?

So what am I going to do instead? Miller lists so many alternative ideas that are fantastic! I've also thought of a few myself (look for new blog posts soon!)

I'm actually really looking forward to implementing these changes in my classroom!

Are you ready for this week's freebie? Make sure to grab it because NEXT Monday, I am taking them all down and releasing an amazing HUGE file that will help you implement everything that I have learned from this book. 

This week, I am offering a rubric for grades 4-8 for a book review.

Enjoy and see you next week for the final chapter of The Book Whisperer!

Read Chapter 7