Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Book Whisperer: Chapter One

I have had my nose stuck in a good book my whole life. I can't imagine ever not loving to read. Even now when I am busier than I have ever been, I still loving curling up with a good story and digging in! When I can't pick up a book, I'm often listening to one on Audible.

Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer has been on my radar for a little while, so when I saw the opportunity to join in on a book study/weekly blog linky, I was super excited!

I could tell just from the the first chapter that it is going to be hard for me to pace myself through this book! So much of what is written speaks straight to my soul.
In the introduction of the book, Donalyn Miller states that "Anyone who calls herself or himself a reader can tell you that it starts with encountering great books, heartfelt recommendations, and a community of readers who share this passion." (pg. 4) I wholeheartedly agree with her 100% on this. I loved getting started digging into her journey to create that passion for reading in her students.

While I know that my journey to create first grade bookworms is different than hers to create sixth grade book lovers, the foundation starts with that same concept.
A love for reading comes from reading good books- finding stories that speak to you or move you or make you laugh. Stories that you can relate or stories that teach you how to better relate to people that are completely different than you. One of our jobs as teachers, and it's a BIG job, is to find ways for our students to LOVE reading.

I loved reading about Miller's journey to figure out how to create that love for reading. So much of what she wrote rings true for each of us, no matter what grade we teach. There is always a learning curve when we try something new with our students, and I loved reading through the first steps of that in Miller's classroom.

She writes "Reading is both a cognitive and an emotional journey. I discovered that it was my job as a teacher to equip the travelers, teach them how to read a map, and show them what to do when they get lost, but ultimately, the journey is theirs alone." (pg. 16)
We guide our students in the little snippet of time that we get to call them "ours." As she says, we teach them how to read the map. We are the ones who help them get started. I want to make it my passion and my goal, more than ever, to encourage a love for reading that starts so early and goes so deep that my students only just begin that journey with me!

I could go on and on forever and I hope that you will continue following along as I link up each week for another chapter, but I want to end with one more quote that I loved from this first chapter:

"These days, I share with my students what no literacy expert could ever teach me. Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters-the saints and sinners, real or imagined-reading shows you how to be a better human being." (pg. 18)

I want to share that with my students every day. I want to share it with them enough that it becomes a part of their soul. My hope is that through this book study I can continue to learn how to instill a deep love for reading in the hearts of each of my little learners.

Link up with Literacy and Lattes!