Creating Readers

Donalyn Millers’ “The Mentor” was a godsend. I hated AR when I was growing up because it was just a big contest for the students to see who could get the most points in a year. It was nice to hear what she had to say about it and what she noticed it did to readers self esteem. I also liked how she said that she only rewards by public recognition and praise.  In my special education class we are discussing relationship-centered and system-centered.  When she gives that public recognition to a  child that has succeeded a  goal or what have you that starts to build a level of trust with the student, which is the relationship-centered aspect.  They know that Mrs. Miller and their classmates will always be their  to cheer them on.   One lesson I think is important for students  to learn  at a young age is that you won’t always get prizes or recognition by others for completing a task all you need is yourself because in the end if you are happy/proud of yourself then that is all that matters.  I feel like she is setting her students up to have a high self-esteem, not cocky by any means but confident in themselves.

I was happy to see that on the list of  13 books to read before you are 13 Where the Red Fern Grows was one of them!  I  know it  is far from the same but I  have seen the movie.  I have always wanted to read the book which I guess there  is no time like the present.

When I was in 8th grade my English teacher  had us reading “The Diary of Anne Frank”.  She was BIG on popcorn reading,  one of my friends had dyslexia and always got so frustrated so we wouldn’t call on him because he was our friend!  One day she cut off the reader and called on my friend. We all looked at each other speechless because she was forcing him to read!  I couldn’t believe it, she s embarrassing this boy and to us and him it never seemed to bother her!

I don’t want to copy her way of teaching but I certainly want to be able to incorporate her advice she has given into how I help my students become readers.


2 thoughts on “Creating Readers”

  1. What a horrible story about your dyslexic friend! My son is dyslexic and popcorn reading is SO painful for him. The teachers don’t call on him, but he’s still the only kid who doesn’t get called on and he feels like he stands out and everyone thinks he’s “stupid” because he doesn’t read. Popcorn reading is just a bad idea all around! A lot of students tell me that AR destroyed their love of reading. I am so glad there are teachers like Donalyn Miller who can show us different ways to accomplish these goals.


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