Jul 2, 2011

The Book Whisperer

I love reading and I love books. Whenever I return from a PD day or a trip I come home with MORE books. The first thing I do on Monday during Daily 5 is share the new stories and adventures. I always joke with colleagues and my students that my husband has no idea how much money has been invested in the books in my classroom. I hope he doesn't read this post... I am forever ordering on line or from Scholastic book orders. Oy!!!
Yesterday I finished reading Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer. It was the first book I chose out of my huge stack of books to read this summer. I'm so happy I started with this one. She believes everything I believe about books. Kids need to read in order to become better readers. If we are not allowing them to read in school how can we expect them to enjoy books and become better readers. We know that some kids don't get read to at home or have access to going to the library/books, so it becomes our job as educators to provide opportunities for them to read. Therefore, worksheets and comprehension stories need to get thrown away. Kids need to read books, have opportunities to discuss and share. 
I'm in the process of reorganizing my classroom and I was looking at ALL of my books thinking I needed to weed through them but after reading this book, ALL of the books are staying other than the tattered and old books that can't be repaired. I've also decided to add my favourite books that I use for instruction (Kevin Henkes, Melanie Watt, Leo Leoni, Mem Fox and Barbara Reid). Why am I keeping these fabulous authors from kids? I should be ashamed.  I had to buy more shelves mind you, but it's worth it. 
I'm not going to go into a great amount of detail about the book because I want you to read it for yourself and then comment about what you thought. As I read, I kept thinking about what I wanted to change and what I wanted to keep the same. Here it is:
  1. My students usually ask if they can take home more than one book from my library to read at night and in the past I've said just one, but that will change. I think between 1 - 3 will be acceptable. Of course it will be with a promise to return them all when finished. I have to come up with a sign out system that works for little kids and it's not a huge time consumer for me. I'm open to ideas. Remember I've got THOUSANDS OF BOOKS.
  2. If they want to add a book of their choice from home to their reading box for Daily 5 it will be allowed. In the past I've said no. Why you ask? I think it was my way of wanting to have control over what they read but still allowing them choice in the classroom. I know this makes no sense but it's going to change. 
  3. I've always had them read when they are finished work and this will stay the same. I have books spread out everywhere in the classroom. Pictures will follow when it's all cleaned and organized.
  4. We have a huge chart in the classroom where I or the kids write the title of the books we've read. I'm going to have the students do this with the books they read, so they can see their totals. I can't wait to see how they respond to this. 
  5. Whenever we're waiting or in transitional times, I'll have favourite books for them to take. For example, waiting to have pictures taken, waiting in line at assembly's, they can be reading while they wait for other kids to come in. 
  6. I think incorporating writing with reading is very important and I love how Miller has her students write about a book they've read once a week and give reasons for this. It's a great way to connect with students. 
  7. I will be doing more personal reading in the classroom with the students. I'm not sure when I'm going to find the time but I'll find it. I'll model and show the book I'm currently reading. 
  8. We'll have more book sharing time. 
  9. During conferencing time, I'll read to small groups or have a student who wants to read, read to us. Only if they want to, it won't be a requirement because many students don't like reading aloud but I will encourage it if they want to.  
  10. I'm sure as the summer progresses and I do more reading I'll come up with more ideas. If you have some ideas on what you're planning on doing,  I would love to hear them.
I am looking forward to starting the year off and getting those little grade two's to catch onto reading and the love of books. I hope you take a day or a week to read Donalyn Miller's book. It's an easy read and you won't be disappointed or be able to put it down once you start. 
Happy Reading!!!
P.S. Simply 2nd Resources has created a fabulous survey for grade two student's to do at the beginning of the year.


  1. Loved hearing your thoughts and seeing what your classroom is like. I am looking forward to the pictures! I think I am going to be jealous of your library. I am honored that you linked so my blog!!!!!

    Simply 2nd Resources

  2. I loved the book also! Miller believes as I do that we need to provide opportunities for kids to read throughout the day, since many don't have the opportunity outside our classrooms! An inspirational book that should be shared with colleagues.

  3. Thank you both for your comments. Kris I've already sent out an email suggesting they read it over the summer.

  4. Sure wish my copy of the book didn't get stuck in the mail strike and is therefore now sitting somewhere in Canada Post waiting for the school to open again in August... I'll definitely be borrowing your copy later this month for a read! Sounds wonderful!

    Cheers, Memorese

  5. Hi, April!
    I loved reading your thoughts on the Book Whisperer book! It was a powerful read for me, too, and made me think about so many things! It has reaffirmed my belief in sharing my reading life with my first graders. Can't wait to hear more of your thoughts! :)

  6. I love your thoughts on the book. I'm currently on chapter 4. I have tons of different thoughts floating around in my head waiting to be organized. For now, my thought is that I plan on making reading much more of a priority in my classroom. I also created a Student Interest Survey that is posted as a freebie on my blog. Check it out: www.teacheristatales.blogspot.com.

  7. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I'm really grateful to have come across The Book Whisperer at this point in my career also. I don't want to start with bad habits that will be hard to break later! I actually just started reading The Daily Five after having seen it "in action" in a few classrooms. What's the writing book you mentioned? I'd love to check it out!

    I also can't wait to see pictures of your classroom. Your massive library is like my dream. :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  8. Isabel Marant (dsf2012.4.11)
    Isabel Marant Pumps
    There’s one thing unbelievably confident concerning Isabel Marant and also the girl cosmetic you could shut the face to see your ex together with the girl just-rolled-out-of-bed head of hair and also small make-up together with palms inside the storage compartments regarding slim slacks, strutting concerning nonchalantly. That’s the particular frame of mind which includes offered solution to any fervent Marant fanbase.
    The lady furthermore have any knack regarding converting the particular naff directly into fresh, or perhaps at least renewed since the lady produced inside over a American frontier concept in which triggered padded yoked tops, slim slacks together with gaucho curl styles and also cowboy boot styles. The lady worked well components of Tiny Residence around the Prairie directly into Edwardian wide lace attire and also everyday tops. Laser-cut buckskin and also studded little attire developed the particular more difficult plus more attractive parts inside the assortment.
    Nonetheless, the particular silhouette scarcely wavered coming from the girl thoroughly tested cropped slim trouser, the particular nestled inside top and also pointy pushes and a dropping of the quilted outdoor jackets and also satin bombers. Marant receives apart together with basically transforming the theme due to the fact she’s properly alert to just what the girl lady would like coming from a great Isabel Marant little bit of garments. Almost everything must appear to be there was clearly small energy involved in an collection, which explains why Marant didn’t make an effort to resolve a thing that plainly wasn’t busted.
    Isabel Marant Sneakers

  9. tory burch metallic eddie ballet flat
    Isabel Marant and additionally uuttiopplll him / her his conversation Jér? others Dreyfuss experience prepared trend most of the succeed, decorating a fabulous cult outfit tier (him / her) and additionally up-and-coming gear tier.

  10. Merci
    Probably one of the most talked about stores in Paris, Isabel Marant Flat


Thank you very much for your comments.