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Blogging On History, Science, and Education

Prizewinning Teacher

A few days ago, Nancie Atwell from Edgecomb, Maine, was awarded a million dollars in Dubai in what is being called the Nobel Prize in Teaching. How do you pick the best teacher in the world? Of course you can’t, but after reading Atwell’s book," The Reading Zone," I’m adding my vote to her total. In essence, Atwell says if you want children to read and learn to love reading, surround them with good books, then let them pick the ones they want to read. She explains how she goes from that beginning to produce skilled avid readers. For a start she creates a reading zone in her classroom where there is silent concentration: everyone is reading. If a student should pick a book that he or she doesn't like, they aren't forced to finish it. She has lots more to say, all worth reading. Her students read, on average, 30 to 40 books a year. As to the prize. Hooray. It's time we celebrate our great teachers. We have many of them. We need to make it easy for them to exchange ideas.
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