Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Whisperer Chapter 1

Link up with our book discussion at Thinking of Teaching.
Wordle: Loving Books

I think this book is going to change things in my classroom. It's kind of weird to think, but we as teachers seem to be rule followers. Not all of us, but for the most part I think we are. I love that Donalyn Miller is giving us permission (backing it with research) to share our love for reading by letting our students read. So simple, but we are pressed from all sides to get the kids achieving at specific levels by specific times and so much gets lost.

I am a reader. My parents read to me since I was a baby. One of our family memories that we laugh at is about reading. I have always had allergies and itched my nose. I do it quite often according to family and friends, but I don't really notice it. You need to know that to understand the story. My Mom, Dad, little sister  and I were in my parents bed and I was reading everyone a book. I was about 6 and my sister was about 3, I think. I kept dropping one side of the book to itch my nose. I guess that bothered my sister because the next time I needed to itch, I guess I made a funny face or something, she reached over and did it for me. I just kept right on reading! My parents love that story. So do I.  :)

I read a lot. I am blessed to have a husband who is also a reader. His parents still laugh about the time his mom came in on us in their living room. I was at one end of the couch reading my book and he was at the other reading his book. Our feet were touching in the middle. We were teenagers. I get jealous of him because he can remember every part of a book after the first read. Although, I think it is better to be like me because after 6 months or so I can reread a book and enjoy it a lot because I have forgot the exact ending.

Anyway, back to The Book Whisperer. I really connected to her stories of being a life-long reader. I want to pass that on to my students. I have to say that I have had the "Wake-Up Call" (pg. 11). I prepared so much and for so long and things kind of fell flat. It is good to hear her say that she has moved on and is making it her own. Just like her, I read the books, go to workshops, and do research online. I wanted to make my classroom and teaching style mimic other teachers. Better teachers. More experienced teachers. But I have found that it doesn't work because I am not a carbon copy of those people. I have to take what I learn and adapt it to fit my personality and my class.

I think the best part of chapter 1 was learning about Donalyn Miller and identifying with her. She is a teacher just like me. I am at the beginning of the journey. She is going to show me what worked for her and I will be able to adapt it to work for me and my students.


Tara said...

I agree!!! Thanks for commenting, now you have a new follower!!

Mrs. Bainbridge said...

I read this book last summer and really wanted to implement her "40 Book" rule in my 1st/2nd grade classroom... so I upped it a bit since their books would be substantially shorter and, though I don't require it, most of my kids were really into it. I call mine "The 100 Club" and you can join if you read 100 books! I had several students read hundreds of book... one reading over 400 this school year! :) Here's a link to that page of my site if you're interested:

Mrs. Morris said...

I like that idea! Thanks for sharing. I have been to your website before and you have some great ideas! Thanks for commenting!

Beth said...

I love the story about you and your sister, adorable. I agree 100% about adapting things to fit you- well said.
Thinking of Teaching

Kelli Beason said...

Would love your ideas/input on reader's workshop! Don't know how you really assess with it. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Mrs. Morris said...

Kelli- I am following your blog now! To tell the truth I don't do any formal assessment through reading workshop. The stations and independent reading stand alone. I make notes on how they are progressing and check the technology to see how they are doing. Most of my assessment during this time comes from my guided reading groups. I pull these during this time. I guess my main focus for reader's workshop is that they are behaving like readers and thinkers.

Kelli Beason said...

So what do you do for grades in Reading?

Mrs. Morris said...

I do an assessment of their reading level and fluency at the beginning, middle, and end of every six weeks. (6 grades) I assign them a grade for their participation during Guided Reading and how well they are performing. (4 grades) We have reading passages and questions that help prepare us for our reading benchmarks and they are graded. I only record some of those. (2-5 grades). So that leaves me with between 12 and 15 grades for reading. I also take grammar and writing grades.

Abby said...

Becca -

I'm so glad you stopped by my blog so I could hop over to yours! Girl, your words ring true: "I am not a carbon copy... I have to take what I learn and adapt it to fit my personality and my class." Amen! :)

Third Grade Bookworm

welcome to our wonderland said...

aww I love the feet in the middle touching while reading part :) so sweet

I'm a huge bookworm and my girls are too. I was so excited this week when my hubby finished his first book for fun reading "into the wild" He finally read a book I checked out for him at the library. I love this book and I kept telling him he would and he did!

I am loving this book so far and know it will help my in my college classes and later when I'm a accredited prek teacher.

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