Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's Shaping Your Thinking?

I have been reading The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.  She is careful to note which books shaped the thinking for her book about awakening the inner reader in every child.  That got me to thinking about which books shape my thinking.

While there are "old standards" like "Mosaic of Thought" by Keene and Zimmerman, "Guided Reading" by Fountas and Pinnell, and "Reading Essentials" by Regie Routman, there are also some books that are currently at the forefront of all my instructional thoughts.

I've mentioned a few of these here on the blog or via our Facebook page.  I must add Miller's book to my list right now.  And I need to "re-up" an "old favorite", Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook (the 6th edition).

These books are currently helping me rethink my own stand on the Reader's Workshop Model.  They are reminding me of the importance of Reading, Writing, and Thinking for every reader every day.  And, more importantly, they are reminders that every reader deserves to choose his or her own books for reading and NOT have to create a response for each and every book read.

I am excited to follow Miller's journey in her sixth grade classroom.  I am excited to see how it will impact my work with youngsters at the elementary level this year.  And I am so glad that my job, and my approach to it, are never stagnant in the area of literacy.  In the words of Miller's mentor, Susie Kelley, "If you ever think you've got all the answers, it's time to retire."  To that I say a hearty "AMEN, sister!"

Now, what's shaping YOUR thinking?  Let's help each other grow!


Pastor Jim said...

We introduced books to Ava Brooke at a very early age and now at 23 months she loves to sit and look through her many, many books and brings to us her favorites to be read out loud. Result ... an ever increasing vocabulary. People who meet her cannot believe that she is only 23 months ... all because of books!

Kim Yaris said...

What's at the forefront of my thinking is using small groups in the reading workshop. I recently read Jenn Serravallo's book Teaching Reading in Small Groups and Jan Miller Burkin's book Misguided Reading in conjunction with the deified guide by Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading. I've been trying to engage people in discussion on our discussion boards at www.literacy-builders.com but the conversation is still very one sided. I'm reflecting on my thinking, but nobody is talking back!

I liked your post. I have seen The Book Whisperer but haven't yet purchased it to read. After I'm done with Readicide by Kelly Gallagher, do you recommend that be my next read?

donalynm said...

I am glad that you found The Book Whisperer meaningful. I learned a great deal about my own teaching and reading journey while writing it. I am still learning. I am reading Daniel Pink's Drive right now and I am thinking about motivation and engagement and considering what Pink's ideas imply for classrooms.