I just finished reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. I must say it certainly didn't take me long to read. This book has made me rethink how I will teach language arts next year. The overall idea of the book is that students should be given time to read what they choose to read and teachers should be passionate about helping them find good books to read. This past school year I tried to find whole class novels that I thought the majority of the class would enjoy reading but I always knew it was impossible to find something that sixty students are going to all enjoy. Now that this book has given me the encouragement to teach language arts in a different way I have to decide exactly how I want to run my classroom next year. Here are some things I have to ponder throughout the summer:
1. How will I set up my classroom library?
2. Will I set up a classroom library checkout system?
3. How will my readers notebook look?
4. What requirements will I set up to assess that my students are growing as readers?
5. Will I stick to the 40 book goal Miller suggests in her book?
6. How much time will I give students to read in class?
7. How will I continue to address the common core while allowing students to read what they want?
The great thing about my school is that teachers are given a lot of freedom to teach how they want as long as they are following the common core standards. There are no novel requirements, however most teachers in my school teach using whole class novels. For some, they have great test scores using this strategy. However, I really want to foster a lifelong love of reading in my students so I'm going to give The Book Whisperer movement a try.
I'm sure there are many other teachers out there planning on trying this next year as well. I'd love for us to get together and feed ideas off of us other as to how we plan on setting up for the new year. It would also be fun to keep in contact with each other as our school year progresses to learn from each other what works and what doesn't.
If you are interested in collaborating please comment on this post and include a link to your blog or a way I can contact you. Once several have commented I will put together a live chat session where we can start planning together. Please note that this isn't a book study I am trying to start. I believe another blog is doing that. This is just a way for everyone to discuss with each other how they plan on revamping their classrooms. I'm hoping that we can also remain in contact with each other to see how it is going. Feel free to add this button to your blog if you are interested!