Findings from the
International Reading
Association Conference
Sharon Franklin, SMA
Lisa Bridges, MEA
Tracey Hurt, MAT
The Book Whisperer
by Donalyn Miller
Summary of Ideas
Teach literacy not literature
All about choice
Just let them read
Set a goal of how many books to read and from
what genres
Give them time in class to read (that way you
know for sure they're reading)
Provide a comfortable place to read and give them
freedom of where to sit
My Experience Using Book
Whisperer Techniques
Started in January so I gave them a goal of 20
books (instead of 40 for the year)
Gave them comfortable places to read and
plenty of classroom time to read
Reading folder - Books I've read; Books to Read;
Genres Tally Mark sheet; Reading Responses
Reading Responses: Set format; updated me on
what they were reading and how it was going due once a week
Individual Conferences
39 students participated
In five months, they read 945 books, which is an average of 24
books each (5 per month)
Lowest number of books read was 6
Highest number of books read was 102!!!
All but 3 students met the goal of 20 books!
In a post-reading program survey, 88% said they felt the program
was very useful and would recommend it be continued
Motivating Boys to Read
Why don't our boys like to read?
Too many women have picked out books
for them - mothers, teachers
Women pick out “cute” books
They don’t think it’s cool; takes too much
energy; they think it’s a “girl” thing
Research shows us we lose many of them
by 2nd grade!
What can we do?
Boys must be interested in what they are reading
They must be able to choose what they read
It has to be "cool" to read
It only takes one successful experience in reading
to change their thoughts about reading
Classroom Library
Mark a box "For Boys Only"
Teach them how to pick out a book
based on interest rather than lexile or
AR level
Rotate stock frequently and always
have some featured books
Tell them it's ok to start with easy
books (peer pressure will bring them
up to speed eventually), and tell them
it's ok to abandon a book if it's just not
working for them.
Other Ideas
Provide a list of websites where they can read book reviews from
other kids
Have students do "Book Commercials " on books they've read
Read dramatically from a book to get them interested (Book
Start a "Guys Read" Facebook page where their peers can share
information about books they've read
Guy Motivators. . .
Invite a dad, male administrator, or male public figure (the
mayor?) to come read to the class
Invite a male author to speak to the class or read part of
their book to the class (maybe via Internet?)
Have a "Mystery Night" or "Sports Night" where boys and
their dads (or moms) can share in a themed event
centered around books in that genre
Book Pass
Use this as a way to introduce students to
your classroom library
Also great as a way to teach genres
Helps students learn how to pick books
they’ll enjoy and have a “to read” list
Resources: (International Reading Association) (James Patterson)