The Book Whisperer

I just finished a great book and I wanted to share it with you! πŸ™‚ Lots of my blogging friends have read it, and I haven’t heard a single negative comment! Really…go check it out!
Now…on to what I have learned!
Of all the takeaways, I think this is what I will focus on the most this year! This books talks ALOT about students’ reading volume! It’s so easy to focus on other things and realize that they only had a few minutes to read independently or with a buddy! Last year, my kiddos did NOT want to rotate to Read to Self/Independent Reading. They would stay super engaged at Word Work, Smartboard, etc. but they struggled to stay focused at Read to Self. This year, I actually didn’t use too many stations and followed the Readers’ Workshop model. I can tell you, my kiddos READ alot! I was so proud of them! With the exception of a few little guys that REALLY struggled, they were able to read independently for at least 30 minutes. I think that only happened because that was my expectation. And we talked ALL.THE.TIME. about how to become a better. And my answer was always “you get better by PRACTICING! If you want to be a better reader, read more!” They really latched on to that concept. During Guided Reading, you will see my kiddos reading…that’s it. I am SO proud of them. But even my best readers couldn’t get past 20-30 minutes. Especially my kiddos who are lower than a level I/J. So this year, I will be building more stations in our day. BUT we will still be focused on lots of independent reading and reader’s workshop. I know that “What Do I Do When I’m Done” can be a big management problem for little ones. When they finish their work, they get bored…and when they get bored…they get wild…am I right?!? Haha…
Here are some ideas you can try to encourage independent reading in your class!
Miller talked alot making sure your kiddos are reading from many different genres. In here middle school class, she sets up expectations for how many of each type they would read. Not all of the kiddos met their goal, but many of them did. I think this can be harder in a primary classroom with lower level readers. BUT…my goal for this year is to focus on hitting more genres during my read alouds. Do you have any tips for bringing more genres into your primary classroom?? I’d love to hear them! Here are some suggested books for popular genres πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author spends most of her class time conferring with students. In my class, most of my time is with guided reading groups, but it’s still so important that I am able to recommend books to my kiddos are choose engaging GR books for my groups! I loved that she knew her students’ favorite topics, authors, and types of books. She gained her students’ trust by recommending books to them that they loved! Fortunately, we have fewer students than she does so hopefully it’s a bit easier. πŸ™‚ I’m going to work on a Reading Interest Survey for my little ones at the beginning of the year. Hopefully I can have it up soon! πŸ™‚

This was my FAVORITE takeaway. Miller tells story after story about students who hated reading but were able to fall in love with books because of her passion, recommendations, and support. It takes time, and opportunities for success. Don’t ever give up! πŸ™‚

I know there are MANY different schools of thoughts on Reading Logs. Personally, I like them in my classroom and I think they can even be used effectively as homework. But that’s not the only way to track what your kiddos are reading! Here are some other suggestions! πŸ™‚

If you need ideas for students to finish after they read their books, check out any of my Reading Log and Response packets! πŸ™‚

Finally, and probably most importantly, this book was ALL ABOUT student choice! She talks alot about recommending books, conferring with students, and genre requirements but at the end of the day, her kiddos chose the books they would read. I actually left this off of my original blog post because I didn’t want to be redundant. But it nagged at me all day! It didn’t feel right to write a blog post about this book and not talk about student choice!

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this book! πŸ™‚

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