Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Book Whisperer and Currently November

Hello again!

After coming back from lunch and a shopping (browsing, I guess, since I didn't buy anything) excursion, I just had to pick up The Book Whisperer again.  I am LOVING this book.  I have now finished chapters 3 and 4 as well as the second "whisper." but I'm telling  you, it's a real possibility that I finish this book tonight.

I appreciate that Miller emphasizes the importance of providing time for reading.  I like the idea of independent reading replacing morning work, and I tried this last year.  I do not do it this year, however.  Instead, I reserve that time for our daily intentional problem solving math requirement.  Ultimately, though, I agree that it is vital to establish the importance of reading within the classroom.

I do not have the privilege of visiting the library with my students (it is part of their Fine Arts rotation), but I try to address this by communicating suggestions to them prior to visiting the library, maintaining constant contact with our terrific librarian, and showing interest in their book choices following their library visit.  My students are also aware that I always work with our librarian to check out books related to our content topics in class.  Right now, for example, I have all kinds of books about U.S. celebrations, which is our social studies focus.

Miller's comments about a place for reading made me feel better.  I do have several carpets, a special chair, etc. where students go to read each day.  Additionally, as part of launching the Daily 5 (specifically read to self and read to someone), we go over places in the room where students may read (pretty much anywhere they like as long as they have adequate personal space, I can see them, and they are not too close to the reading group I'm working with at my table).  I identify with Miller's assertion that her whole room is a place for reading, and I like to think my classroom has the same feel to it.

While reading the fourth chapter, Reading Freedom, I realized that much of it would be beyond the reach of my second grade students.  However, the overarching idea is attractive to me.  My students choose their own books during Daily 5, and I'd love to transform my language arts whole-class instruction so that it incorporated or even emphasized student-selected books.  Are you able to accomplish this in your classroom?  How do you do it?

I have not read the Fountas and Pinnell book, Guiding Readers and Writers from which Miller draws inspiration for her reader's notebooks.  However, I love the idea.  I can picture how the notebooks would keep the students accountable and help replace a reading block format in which students complete the same written activities for the same books.  Do you use reader's notebooks in your classroom?  Is there a format that you use that is appropriate for young elementary students?  Do you grade them?

Anyway, I'm loving this book, as you can see.  I think I will put the Guided Reading book aside until I finish with The Book Whisperer.  I'll leave you with my contribution to the Currently November linky.

And here's my yummy pin.  

YUMMY, easy, and DIET-FRIENDLY pumpkin muffins.

   Gotta go guys.  I have some grading to do before work tomorrow.  But, realistically, I think I'm going to go make some pumpkin muffins, watch Pitch Perfect for the millionth time, and finish reading The Book Whisperer.  :-)  


4th Grade Racers said...

I read The Book Whisperer over the summer and completely fell in love with it. It is definitely a work in progress in our classroom, but slowly and surely I can see it working little miracles. Best of all, my students love to read this year!

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