Monday, June 27, 2011

The Book Whisperer Book Study Chapter One

"Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown, or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters- the saints and sinners, real or imagined- reading shows you how to be a better human being"
~Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer (p. 18)
  
Is this not the most wonderful quote?
I began reading before I began kindergarten. I can't remember a time in m life that books weren't around me or a day that I didn't have a book in my hand. My childhood was full of bedtime stories with my mom and dad, books as rewards for good grades and many, many stops to the library and bookstores. Reading was always very important in my family and my mother was an adult role model that instilled in me the importance and beauty of reading. My mom has always been a ravenous reader and as a child I was in awe of watching her with her huge, 500 page book in her lap and her fascination with what she was reading. I wanted to be like her. She is smart and chooses books that interest her immensely. She taught me that books can take you to other places, help you to understand other points of views, open your mind and educate you. I owe my love of books to her.

My love fair of books continued through my childhood and into my teens. I was very active in band, choir, academic decathlon, National Honor Society and I was captain of the color guard....not to mention, I worked two jobs as well! But no matter how busy I was, I always had a book with me and became gitty when someone asked me about my latest book. I always found time to read.

So, when I became a teacher, I wanted to pass this along to my students. My educational specialty is reading instruction with a minor in English (I am sure that did not surprise you....lol). I had the ambition and the education but even with all of this, it was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be.

I knew how important my mom had been to fostering my love of reading. I remember looking at each of the students that I worked with (I started teaching as a Title 1 reading specialist teacher) and asked myself, who was their reading role model? What was their experience with reading? Is reading something that was treasured in their family? Did they understand the importance and purpose of reading?

The answer: no.

As I read this chapter, it reminded me of something that I use to do with my students. Something that I stopped doing due to the pressure to teach a large amount of content and testing requirements.  Something that is crucial to developing readers. I used to read with my students during independent reading time.I didn't read to them or listen to them read like in guided reading groups. I used to read my own personal book. They saw me as a reader of my own not just their teacher that reads to them.

As I began reading The Book Whisperer, I instantly connected to Donalyn and before I had finished chapter one, my view of reading instruction for this new school year changed. I was reminded of something that I have always known worked! As teachers, we always model everything that we want the students to be able to do independently to foster their educational experience....why would reading be any different?
Stay tuned for chapter 2.....
I loved the idea of Beth's wordle so I made one too! It is such a WONDERFUL way to explore main idea/details, elaboration, description, summarizing and a host of other creative ideas....so here is my own wordle for chapter one...

Want to follow this book study? YAY! You can become a follower of my little blog and click on over to Thinking about Teaching to get the schedule, read her fabulous post, and join in the conversation! Feel free to leave comments and insights....I would love to hear your thoughts! :)

2 comments:

Beth said...

Thanks for joining in on the Wordle! I love the font you chose. Isn't it amazing how something as a little as reading when the students read seems to escape us? I need to really try and do more of that myself...maybe now that I have an ereader it will be easier to transport my book back and forth to school?
So glad to have you with us for the read along!
Beth
Thinking of Teaching

Mrs. Morris said...

I am reading and posting, too! I was also captain of the color guard!!! Awesome!

Becca
Simply 2nd Resources

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