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Teaching

On teaching and reading, and teaching reading

Being an English teacher and a lover of reading go hand in hand to me. This website wouldn't be complete without a section for teaching resources, lesson ideas, collaborative projects, and some teaching thoughts. 


I had to include my favorite quote by Donalyn Miller, one of my reading/teaching role models. 

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Classroom Libraries

Learning from the research

I am always trying to find the best and latest research in independent reading. One of the voices that has made a difference in my teaching is Donalyn Miller. She has written The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. I am rereading (actually listening to the audiobook) to help me get some pointers on creating a better classroom library. I often get questions on my classroom library and I try to justify my reasoning with current and relevant research. 

Professional Reading

The Book whisperer by donalyn miller

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A must read for every teacher of reading. It will transform the way you teach and promote reading in your classroom. Three types of readers - developing, dormant, and underground are described and real life, authentic practices that can be implemented are the central focus of this one. As always, Donalyn Miller knows the importance of reaching each reader. 

reading in the wild by donalyn miller

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Another one of Donalyn Miller's books. Much of the ideas here are ones that I've carried close to the heart of my teaching. The most important one is - if you think something is important, make time for it! This book teaches how to "read in the wild" in order to become a life long reader - not one that is made to read as a chore or punishment. Another must read! 

Passionate readers by Pernille Ripp

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Pernille Ripp is another one of my reading role models. She gives practical advice and guidance on how to grow a community of readers. The most valuable thing I learned from this book is having students identify and build their reading identities. Asking in the beginning of the year, "Who are you as a reader?" has opened so many opportunities and experiences for me as a reader but also for my students as readers. 

Who's Doing the work?How to say less so Readers can do more. by Jan Burkins

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Another must read! As teachers letting go of talking and offering more direction is something many of us struggle with. Taking a look at putting the ownership of learning on the students, this changed the way I teach and I keep going back to it to refresh some of my ideas and beliefs. 

falling in love with cloes reading by christpher lehman & kate roberts

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A wonderful handbook for lessons on analyzing texts. This book offers lesson plans and resources to deepen students' understanding on complex ideas in texts such as author's point of view, evaluating text structure, studying word choice, and reading across texts. At the root of these ideas is the goal of promoting independence in students as life long learners. 

game changer - book access for all Kids by donalyn miller & colby sharp

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The two most crucial ways we can build readers is to encourage the habit of reading and to give each and every student access to books. The impact of poverty and students lacking access to books at home put them in a disadvantage. The ideas to make books available to all readers puts the reader first - not the chance of losing or never getting back a book from the classroom library. Lots of things to think about here and a need for leaders to get involved (book budget!!) 

Inspiring Videos

Listen to Linda Sue Park, author of the novel A Long Walk to Water ask and answer the question - can a children's book change the world? Through powerful books, readers practice empathy and turn their experiences with unfairness into action. 

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Helpful Reading Resources

Here are some resources you may find useful in your classroom or library.