Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer Book Study: Wild Readers Show Preferences

I’m back with the last week of Wild Readers by Donalyn Miller, hosted by Catherine at The Brown Bag Teacher. This week we read Chapter 5: Wild Readers Show Preferences. Wow. . . this chapter made me stop to rethink why I choose the books I do (to use with my students).
Ms. Miller emphasizes the differences between adult and children’s genre preferences. “Determining our students’ preferences not only helps teachers match books with readers, but valuing their tastes show our students that we trust them to make their own decision about what they read.” (Miller, 2014)
Consider the following types of reading preferences:
What stuck with me the most is one of the reasons students don’t like historical texts is overanalyzing historical fiction and biographies during whole class novel units and classroom instruction. GUILTY!! A suggestion for increasing students’ nonfiction skills, access and motivation is to include non-fiction materials that supplement fiction works. I love to have my students read historical fiction novels that connect with the California history/social studies we are learning. However. . . I’m going to be more conscious of not beating the text to death! Lol! I DO have some great literature to use WITH non-fiction texts that I’d love to share with you. (Post to come)

When looking at students’ reading skills, we need to also look at their reading habits (not just their fluency levels!!)
To foster a lifelong love of reading in my students is the ultimate goal! In order for them to love reading, I need to know their preferences and habits so I can guide them in book selection. You can also read more here about student motivation

There’s a cute picture book to read aloud to your class called Miss Brooks Loves Books (But I Don’t!) by Barbara Bottner. With the help of Miss Brooks, Missy’s classmates all find books they love in the library—books about fairies and dogs and trains and cowboys. But Missy dismisses them all—“Too flowery, too furry, too clickety, too yippity.”

Still, Miss Brooks remains undaunted. . .
Check out this terrific Padlet link: Bringing reading out of the classroom and into the wild!! (Thanks for sharing, Sebrina at Burkes' Special Kids!) Here’s my wild reader, my youngest daughter!
How do you discover YOUR students' preferences & habits?

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