Reading this reminded my why I love teaching literacy as much as I do! Not just because I love my new and precious kiddos each year, and not just because I teach with an amazing group of women that I am proud to call my friends. I love it because I LOVE reading! I cannot remember a time when I did not enjoy the sweet escape of a great book. Some of my fondest school memories were the days the teacher handed out the Scholastic's Book Clubs order. Of course before I got home I had more than a dozen books circled, checked, and starred with a rehearsed speech for my mother as to why I needed everyone of them. My mother never really fell for my speeches, imagine that, but I managed to squeak out a few new books each time. And oh when the books finally came in, I could not get them in my hands quick enough. I would crack them open right to the middle of the book and inhale that intoxicating "new book" smell! The smell of glue, paper, ink and the promise of hours of delicious reading! Does that make me as crazy as it sounds? I still do that...even now. But this time the Scholastic box has my name on it, and still I cannot open it fast enough.
Reading has been such an important part of who I am, how can I not want translate that to all of my students? Donalyn validated some of the things that I already do in my class, but she has also opened my eyes to some areas of growth that are needed. In particular, the Home Reading Log. I have fought this battle with myself for years now. I give it out each year, and each year the students that complete it are never the students I need to reach the most. The students that need the practice more than anyone are the ones that have excuse after excuse for not having it on the due date. I am motivated more than ever to really focus on structuring a Reading Workshop that fosters a love of reading with tons of independent reading practice in school!
Last summer I read The Daily 5 by "the sisters," and I implemented pieces of it in the fall. Both of these books stress the importance of independence in literacy. The Daily 5 focuses on the management of the Reading Workshop block. As I have blog hopped all summer, I have seen that many teachers using and sharing successes with it, and I have
stolen borrowed lots of wonderful ideas to help me refocus my reading workshop! I am so ready to start the new year, let go of some of the "control" (something very hard for me) and relish in the LOVE of reading with all of my new fourth graders!