The Joy of Reading by Donalyn Miller and Teri Lesesne

The Joy of Reading by Donalyn Miller and Teri Lesesne

The Joy of Reading 
By Donalyn Miller and Teri Lesesne
(Heinemann, 2022 – Discover more)

Reviewed by Cheryl Mizerny

The Joy of Reading by Donalyn Miller and Teri LesesneI began educating English is 2008. For the initially 12 months I taught the way I experienced learned and how I assumed it was supposed to be done.

I needed my students to remedy chapter thoughts, compose definitions to vocabulary words, entire book studies, and just take tests at the conclude. I even attempted to increase a “fun” final project in the mix, but they had been by no means that important.

I was not loving it and neither had been the little ones.

Luckily, I transpired upon The E-book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller in early 2009. Her e-book gave me permission to abandon these damaging procedures and do what I knew in my coronary heart was right for my pupils. I applied her get the job done to foster a looking through local community in my classroom and have never appeared back. She transformed my training for the superior, and my learners and I are eternally grateful.

A couple yrs later, I included textbooks by Teri Lesesne to my specialist library and integrated her suggestions and techniques into my training as effectively. I’ve also experienced the satisfaction to see Donalyn and Teri present jointly and individually lots of situations, and I’ve usually appear absent with some new knowledge or, at the very minimum, a renewed spark that tends to make me remember why I really like this job so substantially.

Speedy Forward to 2022

The final two years of instructing in particular person in the course of a pandemic have been the most challenging of my 30-year career. Like several others, I have contemplated leaving the profession completely. Regrettably, even my skill to concentrate on one of my preferred things to do – settling into a excellent novel – experienced.

I am grateful that The Pleasure of Examining has appear along to remind me the moment once again of what a love of textbooks and studying adds to our life as older people and as educators. In the text of Miller and Lesesne: “Here’s the real truth: It is probable to train youngsters how to study perfectly without having killing their like for looking through in the method.” (p. xvii)

Even though I have tried out to make my classroom as joyful as feasible, there have been a good deal of “those” days the previous few of a long time exactly where I know this has not been the scenario. I desired the reminders in this guide.

A Conversation to Remodel Practice

If you have at any time found Donalyn and Teri speak in particular person or watched them on video clip, you know they are a dynamic duo. Equally whip-good, hilarious, and fiercely dedicated to sharing their knowledge and practical experience to superior the job. Simply because I am so common with their get the job done and beliefs, in many techniques this e book felt like a revisit of their previous operate.

Having said that, while many of their earlier textbooks were theoretical in nature with suggestions to adopt into exercise, The Pleasure of Reading through feels like sitting in an auditorium hearing them share their ideas to renovate the practice of these in attendance. Certainly, it even now has the exploration to assist their ideas, but it feels additional conversational in nature. Not only is the e-book pretty eye-catching and easy to read through, but it also includes scores of functional procedures that can be implemented right away as well as valuable resources to be certain accomplishment.

Rejecting Techniques That Depress Joy

Chapter Just one – Joy, What Is It Fantastic For? – provides the myriad means that studying provides joy to our life. Miller and Lesesne share how to produce a studying autobiography and why it is critical for us and our learners. By reflecting on these early ordeals, the authors hope for us to “identify times of reading through pleasure.” Our students’ looking through autobiographies give important information that enables the teacher to start developing the basis of a group of viewers.

In the area “What’s at Stake When We Get rid of Looking through Pleasure,” Miller and Lesesne communicate to the destruction of looking at for satisfaction in our present info-driven schooling programs where reading through is mostly linked with rigor, accountability, incentives, and grades.

They supply study about what we lose when we wipe out reading joy and shed mild on how some common procedures these as the warping of the intent of Miller’s possess “40 Reserve Challenge” have manufactured looking through 1 of the minimum pleasant procedures in a child’s day.

They deliver a blueprint for preventing these methods and what to do instead. This investigate should be more than enough to convince any administrator to want to boost the looking through pattern in lecture rooms.

Enlivening Solutions That Do the job

The remaining chapters fortify the strategies that Miller and Lesesne have lengthy championed – giving time and entry, honoring decision, permitting for reliable response, and establishing a group of readers.

Although they have the two published about these subject areas before, this guide is unique. They have used their combined wisdom and knowledge to not only convey to the reader why these factors are vital, they have integrated realistic tips on how to accomplish them immediately. This is exactly where the ebook will be a must have to instructors seeking to recapture looking at pleasure in their school rooms.

In thinking about giving considerable time and access, Donalyn and Teri share assistance and methods for how to obtain textbooks for a classroom library, get publications into students’ hands from the public library, and procure textbooks that college students can maintain at household for their pretty personal. Chapter 3 speaks to how selection is the strongest motivator. The authors share how some faculty tactics and beliefs restrict decision and then give ideas on how to match the reader to a “just right” reserve.

Alternatives to Process-pushed Assignments

In Chapter Four they go over how visitors respond to a text authentically instead of for accountability. The authors look at how endeavor-focused reading destroys motivation to examine for enjoyment, but also what can be finished as possibilities. This chapter finishes with a beautiful description of what a classroom that values aesthetic response can search like. It reads almost like a design and style tutorial for “creating a tradition where pupils experience totally free to reply and inspires them to interact with guides and other visitors as they would like.” (p. 141)

Last but not least, Chapter 5 shares many approaches for setting up routines and rituals to build a robust, joyful reading group. The appendices offer a multitude of methods this sort of as web sites, creators, ebook resources, and things to do that are by itself worth the expense of the book.

The Pleasure of Examining will come along as the yr is ending and I am exhausted, but in reading through it, I am freshly invigorated to end the calendar year solid and strengthened that in my classroom we are all audience, and we can generally find pleasure in that!



Cheryl Mizerny (@cherylteaches) is a veteran educator with 25 decades expertise – most at the middle faculty level. She started her job in unique instruction, turned a trainer specialist and adjunct professor of Educational Psychology, and at this time teaches 6th grade English in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Study her loaded assortment of MiddleWeb articles in this article.