I recently was fortunate enough to spend the day in a workshop with Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, on Creating Classrooms Where Readers Flourish. I read her book over a year ago and immediately shared it with my staff in this post and have continued to follow her on twitter, as well as the Nerdy Book Club blog and the monthly Twitter chat #Titletalk to gain book ideas. So, you can just imagine my excitement of finally getting to meet her in person, greet her with a hug and get my picture taken with her:
Now, beyond my excitement…
Her session was AMAZING! You can read my full notes HERE (warning, it’s a lot!). I honestly wished I had a classroom to go back to and start implementing her ideas and inspiring my students to read, but I just had my office. I did share my notes with all of the teachers in my building, but I know it is an overwhelming a lot of information to read. I sat down and reread my notes, asking myself “what pieces can I share with all teachers in my building to continue to create a culture of readers in our building?” I was still struck by the following statistic Miller shared:
While I typed pages of notes with great ideas, my 2 biggest take-aways were that:
- The adults in the school need to model a passion for reading.
- We need our students to develop the habits of readers.
What are ways that adults can model passion for reading? Aside from the teacher reading him/herself and sharing books with students constantly (just read The Book Whisperer!) some ideas I want to start are:
- Continue to share my reading life with staff and students. Here’s a post in which I reflected on my Reading Life.
- Including what I am currently reading in my email signature–each time you send an email you’re also sending out book recommendations.
- Write reading resolutions…I am asking all staff to do this in January for themselves and for their students.
- Everyone with a door (that would be everyone in the building) display book covers on their door of either books they’ve read throughout the year or what book they are currently reading. My door isn’t visible to everyone, so I put mine up on the library door for all classes to see as they go to library. I also included a little blurb to explain why mine has 3 books of what I’m currently reading.
- Create a basket of “light reading” books (I’m thinking magazines, joke books, etc.) in the hallway where kids line up for lunch with a basket to turn them in at the lunch room. Last year we let students bring their books to the lunch room, but had a few library books get wrecked.
- Leave a book, Take a book shelf in the hallway. (completely on the honor system)
- Stop, Drop and Read during February. Wherever students go they will need to have a book with them, because I could go on the announcements at any time and say it’s time to Stop, Drop and Read!