"...reading time is not an opportunity to talk to me about their homework...Reading time is for reading." (pg. 50)
I love reading time in my classroom. I like watching my students laying on the floor or sitting at their desks reading their books. I like listening to what they say to each other in the classroom library as they are choosing new books.
I am going to make a better effort at discussing what they are reading. They always want to show me something and I am sad to say I don't always let them show me because I am working with other students. I am going to make time to let them show me this year.
"Without spending increasingly longer periods of time reading, they won't build endurance as readers, either. Students need time to read and time to be readers." (pg. 51)
Another goal for this year: increase individual reading time as the year progresses.
I am excited about something we are going to start on Fridays this year.
We are going to have Flashlight Fridays. We will turn out the lights and read with our flashlights. I think they are going to love it. Yes, we will have to have some playing time before we can get down to business, but it is just another way to show kids the many fun ways to enjoy a book.
A good thing about reading and reflecting about this book is that it gives me great ideas for my own room. I just had a brilliant idea! I have been struggling with what students should do when they come to my guided reading table. I was thinking that I would get books from our Title 1 room for them to choose from when they sat down, but I have a better idea. They should bring a book from their book box! My kids get to choose 6 books from the classroom library every week. I want them to bring one of those to read at my table as I get things ready for us to begin. That way we can talk about what we are all reading, our likes and dislikes, and recommendations. I hope this will encourage them to read more and learn to talk to each other about books.
Classroom Interruptions (pg. 53)
I love that Donalyn Miller "trains" her students to get out a book when another adult comes into the room. This is what I did all through school. I would steal that time to read. Since I teach in a portable, I don't have many interruptions. It does depend on the time of year though. Towards the end of the year there seem to be more...
I am going to "train" my students to whip out their books at every interruption. Phone calls and adults walking into the room. Wonderful idea!
Library Time (pg. 58)
I have always loved libraries. I have many great memories from childhood about going to the summer reading club at our library. I remember the wonderful feeling of walking into the gorgeous library at my college for the first time. :)
Last year my students loved going to the library. They could check out 4 books and they would scour the entire library looking for the perfect book. I want to teach them to use the catalogue this year. That way they can look up general ideas and go find the books. I am going to explore our library and be more knowledgable about where certain books are so I can help them find good books. They love to have recommendations from their teachers!
Creating a Place to Read (pg. 63)
My students have 2 options when it is individual reading time. They can go to their spot on the floor or they can sit at their desks. Some kids really prefer to read at their desk while others want to sprawl all over their spot on the floor.
"A classroom atmosphere that promotes reading does not come from the furniture and its placement as much as it comes from the teacher's expectation that students will read." (pg. 66)
I am loving this book. I am so glad I found the book study and decided to join. This is a great read. If you aren't reading it, you should!