Creating Readers: Donalyn Miller’s Version and Mine.


A self-proclaimed “book whisperer,” 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher Donalyn Miller says she has yet to meet a child she couldn’t turn into a reader.

While reading Donalyn Miller’s article, “Creating Readers,” which consisted of Miller’s responses to an array of questions from teachers, to parents, to whomever I couldn’t help but think about my experiences as a reader in school.

I’ll just throw it out there right away: I agree with everything that Miller said. I have always thought that I have loved reading since the day I was born, but Miller brought up several things that got me thinking about how my experience as a reader could have been even better and also helped me to understand why maybe some of my classmates didn’t enjoy reading at all.

Popcorn reading or round robin. Does anyone ever enjoy this?! Miller says that this takes away from students reading comprehension because either the kids are anxiously awaiting their turn to be called on or they are impatiently reading ahead. So true! I agree that if students are reading something as a class it is much more effective for the teacher to read aloud and the students to follow along.

AR Testing. I was never a student to cheat on the AR tests, though I will agree that it would be extremely easy to do so. Who comes up with those questions anyway? I doubt they read the book either. Regardless, Miller brought up a valid point that rings true in my personal experience- I missed out on a lot of books just because there wasn’t an AR test for them.

Content- Smlontent (Who cares?!). Like Miller said, if the boys start reading a book because they think it contains some off-color language let it happen! -At least they are reading! If parents believe that some content of YA lit is too inappropriate for their child they should talk to them first and then decide. I’ve always said that if a kid is reading about sex and drugs they probably aren’t out there partaking in the activities. HELLO, they’re too busy reading! Plus, most YA novels don’t take these subjects lightly or glorify them in any way. So, maybe kids reading about them would help them to think about the decisions they would make in these real-life situations.

This is only a few of the topics that stood out to me from Donalyn Miller’s article. If I were going to be a teacher, I would most definitely implement some of Miller’s teaching techniques in my own classroom.

How do you feel about these topics?


2 thoughts on “Creating Readers: Donalyn Miller’s Version and Mine.

  1. It’s always interesting to me to discuss with my Children’s Lit class how they became readers or why they quit reading. School has much to do with the quitting–for exactly the activities you describe. AR has killed many a reader as students have been limited to the shelf for their level only. Who reads that way?! And even the strongest readers hated popcorn reading! It’s stunning to me that these programs and practices which all the research and evidence (not to mention our common sense!) tell us do not promote reading continue to be used.

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