Mrs. Allen Reads

All Things Literacy

Book Review: Who’s Doing the Work?

on February 1, 2017


I recently read Who’s Doing the Work?: How to Say Less So Readers Can Do More by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris.  I highly recommend this book! Here’s why:

I selected this book because I sometimes feel that my intervention kiddos are very reliant on teachers (mainly me) to help them problem solve when they get stuck. Another reason I picked this book up is that I have often wondered about the practice of pre-teaching so much of a text that there is no real challenge or  opportunity for students (in intervention and the classroom) to use the strategies we are trying so hard to teach them.

This book has changed how I approach my reading instruction. I’m trying to do less and prompt my readers to do MORE. Pushing my kiddos to rely on themselves first, the text second and me last. This book advocated for strong teaching in real reading contexts (read aloud, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading). And offers easy, accessible ideas for transforming your reading instruction into “next generation reading instruction”. This quote from the conclusion really resonated with me about what this book really meant:

When children inhabit a world where teachers let them do the work, they learn from their productive effort, become empowered to take charge of their reading lives, and, very often, surprise us with what they can do! – pg 144

This book currently resides on my professional learning shelf. If it sounds interesting to you come and check it out sometime!


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