Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Book Whisperer: Reader's Notebooks

TBA Book Club
This week I will be hosting TBA's book club. We are currently reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.

I have a confession to make. Let me start by saying that I love love love teaching first grade. But this book makes me want to teach bigger guys.

In the Reader's Notebook, students write their teacher a letter regarding their thoughts and feelings about the book they are currently reading. The example came from a 6th grade class, and Donna wrote back to each of her students, including higher order thinking questions in the process. I would love to do this, but our books are so simplistic that it would be very difficult. I think I will implement this after Christmas when the students' writing skills have improved and the books have more content.

I also love how she made the read so many different genres while still choosing their own books. I would love to do away with bell work this year and have students read instead! And if I had to hear the words "I'm done!" one more time it would be too soon. I love that the students can read so much! I would have LOVED to have been in a class like that when I was younger.

While you are planning your upcoming year, be sure to check out these amazing resources to compliment your Reading Workshops:

Check out this amazing post on Reading & Writing Workshops by my personal favorite teaching guru, Angela Bunyi.

Beth Newingham also has a wonderful post: Reading Workshop- What it looks like in my classroom. This includes a great how-to video!

Regardless of what reading program you are using in your classroom, you can use The Daily Five for management. Before you try to plan 5 gabillion centers, you need to check these girls out!

The CAFE Book is also written by "the sisters" and it provides insightful reading strategies to use as well.

Complete set UNITS OF STUDY FOR PRIMARY WRITING: A YEARLONG CURRICULUM: Conferring Handbook, Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing, CD-rom, 7 books: Launching Workshop, Small Moments, Writing for Readers, Revision, Authors as Mentors, Nonfiction, PoetryTo compliment the reading workshop, I believe that writer's workshop is an important aspect that many people are missing. I use Lucy Calkin's Units of Study for Primary Writers.

Post your thoughts on Read Along Reader's Notebooks!


Mrs. Teachnology

If you wanted to do a reader's notebook at the beginning of the year, you could have your students sketch instead of write letters. You could still respond to their sketches. We are starting reader's notebooks this year at my school, and I am pumped about it.

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