Imagine being a six grader and reading up to 40 books for the whole school year! I have to say these are a lot of books! This is precisely what happens in Mrs. Danalyn Miller’s classroom every year. The children are super excited to be in her class as she provides the tools necessary for these students to enjoy and love reading. Mrs. Miller shares her love and passion for books with her students all the time and encourages them to do the same.
Most important of all, she allows the children to choose their own book of interest. I believe this is a very strong power of choice as they will be more excited about their reading material and will not feel “forced” to read a certain book, but something they were freely able to choose. Another great thing Mrs. Miller does is giving the students time to read in the classroom as well. Unfortunately, some children are not as lucky as others and do not get time to read at home or have the resources to do so. Sometimes, some children have parents who do not speak the language and this prevents the students from advancing their reading level as the parents are not able to help them out because of the language barrier. I have personally experienced this, and it was super hard for me as a student and person. I can imagine my parents feeling powerless as well, wanting to help, but unable to do so!
By now we have learned that every child is different and learns under different circumstances. In other words, one shoe does not fit every child. This is why it is very important to encourage all children equally, including those who are falling behind. Finding ways to help them out or maybe partnering them with the advanced students will help. This is why, I believe that having an extrinsic reward in place is also a great idea. I am not sure if I totally agree with her idea of “the reward being reading.” I believe that when students are encouraged to continued their great work ethic, other people such as peers, parents, teachers, etc. know about it, it makes the student feel more “powerful” and are encouraged to continue doing what they are doing.
In conclusion, this article was a reminder of the many things we as future teachers can do in our classrooms in order to help our students to enjoy and love reading. We must follow Mrs. Millers footsteps as they are creating a positive atmosphere in her classroom with her students!