Happy Summer! Please accept my apology for not posting sooner. Donalyn will soon be speaking to us at the Nov. CRA PDI in Visalia and I can't wait. Hope to see you there!
Let's get busy reading and blogging to prepare for PDI & our new school year!
Past CRA President
Chapter 3: “There’s a Time and a Place”
Donalyn tells her
students reading is not an add-on but the cornerstone of her class time. She says, “How can we not make time for
reading? Your thoughts? Here’s some how-to tips:
- When you are interrupted by the phone or visitor
dropping into class, train kids to get out independent reading books. Also at
picture day & in library! Set
goals for library use for when you line up to go and when you get there to make
best use of time. Her kids try to
steal time to read & suggested a Ziploc bag for reading during
showering! Ha! That’s a keeper
for “kids say darnedest things, eh?”
- Students read when work’s finished- if they rush so
they can read- great says Donalyn…what do you say?
- In her section on creating a place for reading – make
it comfortable! Wish I had Donalyn
for a teacher growing up… what about you?
- In her section on quiet please except teacher who
can be softly conferring. Your
Chapter 4: Reading Freedom
What do you think about Pennac’s “10 Rights of the
Reader?” (2006) The
right to… not read, skip pages,
not finish, reread, read anything, escapism, read anywhere, browse, read out
loud, and not defend your tastes.
Did you enjoy student Jon’s comment. “I think the requirements (40 books) are
understandable because if we didn’t have a requirement. Then people like me
would read one book for the whole year?”
Student Rachel liked the
variety of books required: 5
poetry, 5 lit., 5 realistic fiction, 2 historical fiction, 4 fantasy, 2 sci.
fic., 2 mystery at the request of students, 4 informational, 2 biog, auto-biog.,
or memoir, and 9 chpt. Books of students’ choice and Alex learned he likes
realistic fiction as he used to only read fantasy. And Molly, a picky reader,
said she can’t force herself to read a wide variety and liked having the wide
selection. Did these kids
convince you to think about these requirements?
Donalyn concentrates on
supporting reading, not requirements by…
- validating choices: Who cares if Captain Underpants is a favorite if it
encourages reading more, would you agree? (favorites on p. 88 for
- introducing authors through read alouds
- building BG for genres
- conferring and meeting students where they are
- encouraging notes for genres in Readers’ Notebooks (
based on Fountas/ Pinnell Guiding Readers
and Writers Gr. 3-6) with these sections:
Tally & Reading
Lists, Books to read Lists, and Response Entries like a letter to author or a
letter to a classmate or to teacher.
Are you familiar with Fountas/ Pinnell book?
Chapter 5: Walking the Walk
Oh man, wasn’t Parker’s comment priceless…”I feel
bad about all those good books out there waiting for me to read them?” Donalyn writes about the
need for reading role models and how to lead the way with modeling and
practice. Her self-reflection
activity on p. 111 helps…check it out!
- What were your childhood
reading experiences? Positive or
- Do you see yourself as a
reader now? How do you share these
- Who do you identify
with? (underground, dormant or
- Who has been your
reading role models?
- List last 5 books you
read and how long it took to read them?
- What was read for
professional reasons and what for pleasure?
Did you find Donalyn’s plan helpful? (Fake it ‘til you make it).
- Choose interesting books
- Read more children’s
- Take recommendations
recommendations from industry resources like Goodreads.com
- Reflect on what you’re
reading & share
- Inspiring others happens
when you’re inspired
Chapter 6: Cutting the Teacher Strings
Donalyn talks about
rethinking the class novel and teaching readers, not books. Your thoughts on these ideas on how to
- Select a theme, concept or standard children are expected
to know & gather wide range of text for book groups
- Use short stories, excerpts or poems to teach
literary elements or reading skills & ask students to apply their
understanding to independent books
- Teach test prep as a reading skill
- Teach reading as a genre
you think about Donalyn’s idea of ditching book reports & formal book talks
for book commercials & reviews?
Simple to check off
who shared on class roster & more fun for you & the kids, would you
- Do you
have anything to add to the book review criteria of quotes from book &
reviewers, cliffhanger questions, personal reactions, awards author has won,
age level, other books by the author, & comparisons with other books?
- Do you
use reading logs? Did you like Donalyn’s
alternative to round robin practice of oral reading of giving students a
preview & practice time, paired reading, and tapes?
- What do
you think about Donalyn’s whisper
about E-O-Y Evaluation survey asking if they met their genre requirements and
to explain? Is this sufficient
Chapter 7: Letting Go
mimic what Donalyn teaches them with each other when they browse for books, but
then the following year they can’t enjoy this style of teaching and have to be
underground readers. What do you
think about this?
- Can we
ask peers to teach students to adopt attitudes and behaviors of best
- Can we
mimic their connection with books as they sat in their parents lap?
wonders if you agree to keep students reading, we have to let them do it?
What did you find helpful in the appendixes? Do you have more needs than these?
Appendix A The Care and Feeding of a Classroom
Appendix B Ultimate Library List