BlogWalker

Muddling through the blogosphere

August 15, 2009
by blogwalker
4 Comments

More Resources for Promoting a Love of Reading

Since reading Kelly Gallagher‘s Readicide, I’ve been thinking about online resources to help find books our students just can’t put down, as they are swept away in a “reading flow.” Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Educating Alice: If you’re an elementary teacher and can’t find the time to read Monica Edinger’s blog, then follow her on Twitter.  She’s on vacation in Alaska right now, but even as she explores Denali, she’s sending out Tweets with 5 star recommendations, such as yesterday’s link to A. S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. Eleven years ago, Monica introduced me to Harry Potter, months before the Harry Potter tsunami hit the US.
  • The Reading Zone: Another resource I discovered via Monica’s blog is the Reading Zone. Written by a 6th grade teacher, this blogger provides excellent book reviews and shares her passion and strategies for promoting the love of reading.
  • The Book Whisperer: I discovered Book Whisper Donalyn Miller  through a post on the National Writing Project’s site.  Her reviews, recommendations, and strategies target a broad range of readers, including adults.

    The Book Whisperer addresses topics such as Creating Readers – Part 1, and Creating Readers – Part 2 in her column for Teacher Magazine.

  • How about some of those YA books you already know your students would love if you could just get them to pick them up?  Robert Rozema‘s pre-service teachers have created an awesome bank of YA book talk podcasts – just enough to peak even a reluctant reader’s interest.  Checkout, for instance, this team approach to Walter Dean Myer’s Monster.

If you have more recommendations, please jump in with a comment!

August 1, 2009
by blogwalker
7 Comments

On Promoting a Love of Reading

I finally bought a copy of Kelly Gallagher‘s Readicide.  I wish I had read it sooner so that I could have joined in the VoiceThread and the English Companion Ning discussions. However, I have it now and want to promote it to anyone working with K-12 students! In less than 150 pages, the author clearly explains “how schools are killing reading and what you can do about it.”

If you are at a site that does not support a minimum of 15 minutes per day of silent sustained reading – read this book.

If you are at a site that mandates AR (Accelerated Reader) – read this book.

If you are at a site that mandates a reading anthology exclusively, at the cost of removing novels – read this book.

If you are looking for strategies to engage students in literature and promote a life-long love of reading – read this book.

With so many thought-provoking ideas, powerful strategies, and even links to the supporting research that are applicable to elementary through high school readers, Readicide would make for a great faculty book club read.  I’ll leave you with Kelly’s closing words:

If we are to find our way again – if students are to become avid readers again – we, as language arts teachers, must find our courage to recognize the difference between the political worlds and the authentic worlds in which we teacher, to swim against those current educational practices that are killing young readers, and to step up and do what is right for our students.

We need to find this courage. Today. Nothing less than a generation of readers hangs in the balance.”

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