Wild Reading

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
by safari Suzanne

I read Donalyn Miller's Reading in the Wild this summer, and it set my focus for the school.  In our classrooms, we teach reading.  I mean we really teach reading- pre-reading, using context clues, and inferencing.  But what happens when those students walk out of your classroom?  What happens when they are at home, in the car, or on the soccer field?  Do they read then?  Donalyn writes, "We are note creating resilient, self-possessed readers who can travel on the the next school year, and the next, and into adulthood with reading behaviors and a love of reading that will serve them throughout their lives."  

So how do we develop wild readers?  We become wild readers ourselves.  If you follow Donalyn on Twitter (@donalynbooks), it is easy to see that she and avid reader.  She writes, "I model what a reading life looks like and show my students how reading enriches my life and can enrich theirs, too."  

Secondly, we should make reading a celebrated norm.  "Reading shouldn't be an extraordinary act performed by a bookish few who stand outside of mainstream culture."  One of my favorite ideas was identifying and preparing for "reading emergencies".  You know when your trapped somewhere for longer than expected- the dentist, basketball practice, shopping?  These are your reading emergencies- opportunities when having a book at your fingertips can save the day!  

What are your favorite ways to cultivate a community of readers?

1 comment

  1. I too read Donalyn's book Reading in the Wild and decided to do things differently this year. Imagine the surprise on my students faces when one of them asked me what books I was going to have them read this year and I responded, "What books would you like to read?" He looked confused and said once again, "I mean the books you're going to MAKE us read. I loved the surprised look when I told him and he understood when I said, I want you to read the books you choose to read within the genre guidelines I've given you. He couldn't get to my shelves fast enough. I also do book passes so that students stuck in one genre are forced to look at other genres. I love watching them slide books under their desk to check out when they think no one is looking.