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Donalyn Miller at President’s Program June 30, 2014

Posted by Audrey Church in AASL News, ALA Annual Conference.
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Kudos and sincere thanks to President Gail Dickinson for inviting Donalyn Miller to be the keynote speaker at the AASL President’s Program at Annual Conference in Las Vegas. As librarians we know Donalyn as the author of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. If you were fortunate enough to hear Donalyn speak at Caesar’s Palace on Saturday, June 28, you now know her as a teacher who believes that reading, in and of itself, should be a reward for reading and as a teacher who motivates students in her classroom to read 40 plus books a year.

During her inspiring presentation, Donalyn shared easy-to-implement, effective strategies for motivating children to read: student “shelfie” pictures (a selfie with a stack of books); student book commercials in class (which they voluntarily share whenever there are a free few minutes of time—no more dull book reports!); “what I want to read next” lists in their book journals (so that they go to the library with a plan!). Donalyn suggested that, yes, book choice involves reading level but that it also involves (a) background knowledge and (b) motivation. That child reading below grade level may very well be able to read a more difficult book if it’s on a topic of interest and should have the right to do so. Students in her classroom who zero in on one author or one genre become the expert, the go-to person, for other students.

One can only imagine being in this learning environment of authors, books, and reading!

reading-in-the-wild

Comments»

1. Susi Grissom - June 30, 2014

Audrey, thanks so much for this update on the AASL President’s Program. I have been a huge fan of Donalyn Miller’s ever since I participated in a workshop she led several years ago for North Texas librarians. She lives what she espouses — and I agree with your wonderment at being in her students’ daily learning environment. Very helpful list of motivational reading strategies included in your post — thanks!

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