Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday afternoon with The Book Whisperer

Well it is late in the summer, a hot suffocating Saturday afternoon, and all of my lovely children have scattered to do their own things. Since it is entirely too hot (did I mention that already lol)  to go for a quick run, I picked up Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer. This book had been sitting on my "to read soon" stack for a while, so I thought it was about time to dive in. I am so glad that I did!

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!


  1. I'm in the middle of The Book Whisperer right now! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a new follower!


    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  2. Hi! I too used parts of Daily 5 last year. This time around, I am using Daily 5 in conjunction with the Common Core. To add a little bit more to the mix our class will also be introduced to Whole Brain Teaching! Consider it a melting pot of the hot teaching methods. I am sure I will be exhausted. I look forward to seeing how it works out for you and you class. Keep up updated! :)


    Fantastic First Grade Friends

  3. Hi there,
    Just found you and am your newest follower. I planned on reading the Daily 5 this summer and it just didn't happen. I spent a lot of time reviewing Whole Brain Teaching. I'm going to implement that this year. :o)
    ** CUTE blog name.
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After