I’m not sure how deeply I can delve into this subject in one post. But since I’ve accepted this new exciting teaching position, I’ve been paying way more attention to the gurus, who, it turns out, operate out of good old common sense – something I think our schools have forgotten how to do.
So in honor of my “R” post (on the day I should actually be on “W”), I thought I’d share some nuggets of wisdom from my favorite book right now by my teacher-crush, Donalyn Miller (world’s biggest advocate for self-selected, non-graded non-worksheeted reading):
(some research cited from other sources within the book)
“…students in remedial settings read roughly 75 percent less than their peers in regular reading…Students who do not read regularly become weaker readers with each subsequent year. Meanwhile, their peers who read more become stronger readers – creating an ever-widening achievement gap. Dubbed the Matthew effect by Keith Stanovich…The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
“Students who don’t read, even if they are capable of completing reading tasks at school, run the risk of falling behind students who read more than they do. After all, Mark Twain reminds us, ‘The man who does not read great books in no better than the man who can’t.’”
“My husband, a self-proclaimed slacker in school, figured out that when he finished his assignments earlier than other students, his reward was more work. He began to work more and more slowly, stretching out assignments that he could easily have finished…”
“I do not advocate reading to my students because it is good for them or because it is required for school success. I advocate reading because it is enjoyable and enriching.”
“What makes reading painful is when it takes longer to do reading worksheets about a book than to actually read a book.” (-a student named Sklyar)
“Students are not reading more or better as a result of the whole-class novel. Instead, students are reading less and are less motivated, less engaged, and less likely to read in the future.”
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