It’s been five years since I stepped away from teaching, but everything that Donalyn Miller writes still deeply resonates with me. After reading her BOOK WHISPERER, I interviewed Donalyn, blasting her with way too many questions. She graciously answered every one. That interview became a series I ran in four parts. The posts continue to be some of the most popular on the blog.
Last week I finished Donalyn’s second book, READING IN THE WILD: THE BOOK WHISPERER’S KEYS TO CULTIVATING LIFELONG READING HABITS. It’s a look at how teachers can help their readers — even those enthusiastic ones — move from dependence to independence, how students can maintain an active love of reading well beyond the classroom. Donalyn developed a Wild Reader Survey to gauge “reading habits and preferences of adult readers.” Here’s what she found.
- Dedicate time to read
- Self-select reading material
- Share books and reading with other readers
- Have reading plans
- Show preferences for genres, authors, and topics
READING IN THE WILD focuses on these five Wild Reader traits and how they can be used to foster a lifelong love of reading. Here’s a taste of what Donalyn believes:
“A reading workshop classroom provides a temporary scaffold, but eventually students must have self-efficacy and the tools they need to go it alone.” (p. xvii)
“Children who love reading and see themselves as readers are the most successful in school and have the greatest opportunities in life.” (p. xix)
“We believe that teaching our students to be wild readers is not only possible; it is our ethical responsibility as reading teachers and lifelong readers. Our students deserve it, society demands it, and our teaching hearts know that it matters.” (p. xxiv)
Over the next few days, I’ll share more about each Wild Reader trait and will invite you to share your thoughts and experiences either in the classroom or as a wild reader.
Looking forward to learning from each of you!