Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Whisperer Awakens the Inner Reader in Children

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child written by Donalyn Miller, has been enthusiastically received and reviewed by teachers and bloggers. Below is a review from Library Journal (March, 15, 2009) by Mark Bay of the University of Cumberlands Library in Williamsburg, KY:

Miller, a sixth-grade language arts and social studies teacher and blogger, as enabled students of many different backgrounds to enjoy reading and to be good at it; her students regularly score high on the Texas standardized tests. Her approach is simple yet provocative: affirm the reader in every student, allow students to choose their own books, carve out extra reading time, model authentic reading behaviors, discard timeworn reading assignments such as book reports and comprehension worksheets, and develop a classroom library filled with high-interest books. Her students regularly read more than 40 books in a school year and leave her classroom with an appreciation and love of books and reading. Miller provides many tips for teachers and parents and includes a useful list of ultimate reading suggestions picked by her students. This outstanding contribution to the literature is highly recommended for teachers, parents, and others serving young students.

A good friend, Wendy Melzer, sent me a link to a video of an interview with Donalyn that was posted on the National Writing Project site. It is titled, “Book Whisperer” Awakens the Inner Reader in Children" and is from the show "The View from the Bay." The following summary is provided: Donalyn Miller, teacher-consultant with the North Star of Texas Writing Project and widely-read literacy expert, appears on television to discuss her book, The Book Whisperer, and offers tips on how to inspire children to read.

There are also links to questions about teaching reading and book recommendations. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Great resources from Choice Literacy

Choice Literacy offersd these great resources on children's literature in their latest issue of Big Fresh:

Gayle Brand created an eGuide for planning author studies, taking teachers through the process of charting individual studies and plans for the entire year.

In "Inspiration from Author Visits, " Jennifer Jones reflects on the power of a local author visit in her school, and also provides some quick tips and weblinks for planning a visit.

Summer is a great time for catching up on children's literature, as well as classic kidlit you may have missed over the years. Picturing Books has developed an interactive timeline of children's literature, with milestones from the last century to current times. Lots of other great links at this site, too, including author birthdays as you chart out your year of author studies.

The International Children's Book Library is a remarkable teaching resource, with scores of texts and teaching ideas ready to download or view with students on your smartboard or LCD.

Announcement from TeachingBooks.net on CSK Award resources

In Conjunction With the 40th Anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Award, TeachingBooks.net Launches an Extraordinary, Free Curriculum Resource Center For Educators and Families

Maya Angelou and Jerry Pinkney Among the More than 250 Original
Audio Interviews and Recordings

Chicago, IL (July 13, 2009) — On the eve of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Coretta Scott King Book Award, TeachingBooks.net is launching the Coretta Scott King Book Award Curriculum Resource Center ( http://TeachingBooks.net/csk ), a free, online resource center for educators and families, featuring over 250 original recordings with the award-winning authors and illustrators and hundreds of lesson plans. The resource center was developed to assemble teaching materials that connect the award-winning books to the curriculum in any classroom, and to add a multimedia dimension to reading activities for any library, academic or book enthusiast.

“We hope that this curriculum center makes teaching the Coretta Scott King Award-winning books fun, informative, and exciting,” said Nick Glass, founder of TeachingBooks.net. “Students can now learn the personal story behind each book directly from the creator, including how and why it was made. Research shows that as students feel more connected to a book, they read more and become more successful readers.”

The Coretta Scott King Book Award Curriculum Resource Center contains more than eight hours of originally produced audio with award-winning authors and illustrators, presented in accessible, two- to three-minute clips. Searches can be executed by author, illustrator, title, grade level, and curriculum area, as well as by the year or specific Coretta Scott King Book Award citation.

In addition to free, online primary source materials (audio recordings and book readings), the collection features hundreds of lesson plans and original movies filmed in the studios of some of the award-winning authors and illustrators.

Among the more than 250 recordings are Dr. Maya Angelou and George Ford—two of the first recipients of the award in the early 1970s—as well as Dr. Toni Morrison, Walter Dean Myers, Kadir Nelson, Faith Ringgold, and Jacqueline Woodson, some of the most famous and successful recipients.

“TeachingBooks.net has done an extraordinary job of amassing and presenting these materials,” said Deborah Taylor, current chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Award. “We are thrilled that teachers, librarians, parents, and children will be able to listen to some of the most distinguished African American children’s book authors and illustrators, and share in as well as learn more about African American life and culture.”