At the beginning of the summer, I reread The Book Whisperer.
If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book, which refers to student reading surveys.
"Their needs as readers, as people, call to me from the pages of those surveys, and I whisper back with books." (Donalyn Miller)
Since I am looping with my students, one of my goals is to really get to know my readers. In first grade, we poured our hearts into becoming readers and learning how to love books together. During our 2nd grade year together, I want each of my students to develop their reader identity. As their teacher, I want to make sure I "whisper" to them by listening carefully to their preferences, fostering their interests, acknowledging that I know and respect their individual reader identity and making sure that I have a variety of books available for them to read independently. Along with that, I want to make sure my books are organized in a way that motivates my students since they are now more sophisticated readers. That is how I justify the outrageous amount of money I've spent on new books and bins this summer. Ha!
Another take away I had from reading The Book Whisperer was the importance of giving readers choice. In her book, Donalyn Miller said that she used to read whole class novels with her upper elementary students. She said she discovered that lack of control over reading choice was a problem until she stopped doing that and switched to a workshop structure instead. I do feel like I give my readers choice in my own classroom, but after reading this book 3 or 4 times I have a list of ideas of ways I can improve my own instruction.
I made a new Reading Interest Survey to use with my students this year. You can click on the image below to download a copy.
I also decided to start with reorganizing my books (and buying lots of new chapter books) to start 2nd grade. I found these amazing chapter book bins from Really Good Stuff. They have 3 divided sections, which are perfect for separating books in a series. They come in a variety of colors.
*We use Fountas & Pinnell levels. Many of the series on this list are new and have not yet been leveled on many of the leveling sites, so I assigned levels that are close enough for me. I'm simply sharing the list in this format in case it's helpful for any other teachers out there. You can click on the image to download a copy of the list.
Today, I am going to my classroom for the first time to move my furniture around. No flip flops. Hair in a messy bun. Pray for me. Surely this will count as my weight lifting for the day.
Head over to visit Mrs. Jump's Class to read about other great books.