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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Book Whisperer

The Book Whisperer
by Donalyn Miller


  Genre: Professional Literature
Topic: Reading

I love to read! As do my sons and to a lesser extent my husband. Grounding my children from video games sometimes elicits the response I would like; threatening to ground them from reading is the end of the world.


Likewise, the best reward they can receive is a trip to the local book store where they have free reign to choose any book they want (or several) as long as it is in the $20 and under per child limit. I have never walked out of a book store spending less than $100.

As I read The Book Whisperer, I shared snippets with my sons. My personal favorite reaction was their shocked and dismayed faces when I shared with them the fact that in 2000 the National Reading Panel did not recommend independent reading. My children thought it was the worst news they ever heard! Mrs. Miller would certainly be thrilled with their reaction.

Since I decided to change careers, I have been trying to figure out how to share my love and enthusiasm about books with my students. With the current focus on objectives and standards, I felt at a loss. It seemed as if my dream would never be able to become a reality.

I came up with alternative ways to share my enthusiasm. I decided to create lists of books to relate to the topics we were covering in class. This would allow the students to go deeper if they so choose. However, this was not satisfying as I know many would never choose to do so.

Mrs. Miller has given me a gift! She has created a road-map that can easily be replicated in any classroom. She has provided me with the tools to take my love and enthusiasm and share it with my students. That is why she is also this weeks:



No more nightly reading requirements, no more reading calendars for parents to sign, no more busy work. It is the embarking of an adventure to faraway lands together. Oh I am so excited I can't wait! 

I continued to share pieces of this book with my sons to discuss. We talked about how they love to read but hate English or Language Arts or Reading and Writing or however your school designates the subject.


We talked about the goal of 40 books a year to which my sons asked if they could buy 40 new books a year to read (They only read about 25 chapter books last year a piece. They don't count picture books any more).


We talked about moving their personal library to share with my class. They reminded me that they still get to read all new books FIRST and have the right to shop my classroom and bring home anything their hearts desire. It's a deal.

I have always loved reading with my boys. I love discussing the books with them, finding out their opinions. Some we read aloud, some they read to me, some we read alone. We pass them around laughing over horrible recommendations or the things one another enjoys that we don't. It builds a connection and a memory that will never fade.


There are books that we finish and my children say "some day you will have to read that one to my kid." Oh I will. I will be the Nana with a house field with old fashioned paper books sitting in a rocking chair with grandchildren gathered round reading a classic or perhaps the latest trend but you can guarantee we will be reading something.


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2 Comments:

At February 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM , Blogger Shawna said...

I have the same kind of reading relationship with my girls. They are now 16 and 18 so we are no longer reading the younger chapter books {though I still am} but we so enjoy our book discussions!. My love for books is the reason for my blog!
Shawna
The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

 
At February 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM , Blogger Miss Foote said...

The Book Whisperer has be been one of the best professional books I have ever read! Also, for a reading kid parent relationship you must read The Reading Promise. It is a sweet memoir of a girl and her dad's commitment to reading.

Laurie
Chickadee Jubilee

 

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