The Americans by no means have all the answers (or even some of them), but I must say they do come up with some intriguing concepts. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Now I’ve come across someone who calls herself the Book Whisperer.
The Americans by no means have all the answers (or even some of them), but I must say they do come up with some intriguing concepts. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Now I’ve come across someone who calls herself the Book Whisperer. I’m assuming she has modelled this on the original concept of a horse whisperer, where the operating principle is that of finding out what makes an individual animal respond.
Donalyn Miller, a sixth-grade language teacher from Texas, says she has yet to meet a child she couldn’t turn into a reader, and claims that no matter how far behind learners might be when they reach her class, they end up reading 40 to 50 books a year. Fascinating stuff – what’s the secret? It seems Miller has a rather unconventional approach that dispenses with the drills and worksheets that make reading a chore. Instead, she helps learners explore the world of literature and gives them time to read books they pick out themselves. She also uses social media platforms quite extensively and has created a social network for readers called goodreads.com where she lists and rates every book that she reads.
One commentator puts it as follows: “Miller has enabled students of many different backgrounds to enjoy reading and to be good at it. Her approach is simple but provocative: affirm the reader in every student, allow students to choose their own books, carve out extra reading time, model authentic reading behaviours, discard time-worn reading assignments such as book reports and comprehension worksheets, and develop a classroom library filled with high-interest books.” Sounds like a recipe for success to me.
A further interesting concept originating from that side of the globe is one of Book Trailers. This is a mechanism that has been created to give a taste of what a book is like by way of a “trailer”, in much the same way as you would do with a film. Potential young readers are hooked in with the slogan: Watch. Connect. Read. Check out http://mrschureads.blogspot.com to see what it’s all about. The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller can be found at Indiebound and is also available through amazon.com and Miller’s website is www.bookwhisperer.com