The Book Whisperer {Chapter 5}



Once again, Donalyn Miller challenges us to step up for our students and Walk the Walk!

Chapter 5 discusses how teachers who share their love of reading create students who love to read and what teachers can do to promote students who don’t just know how to read, but love the experience of reading.

I found these facts somewhat alarming…

*25% of adults surveyed report they did not read any books during the course of a year

*54.3% of pre-service teachers surveyed reported they were “unenthusiastic about reading.”

And this just made good sense:

“One of the key factors in motivating students to read is a teacher who values reading and is enthusiastic about sharing a love of reading with students.” (Grambrell, 1996 in The Book Whisperer)

Now, there are many teachers who do not teach reading or language arts, so maybe it’s the math teachers who don’t feel enthusiastic about reading?

I am a firm believer in controlling what you can and letting go of what you can’t (easier said than done, but still).  In this case, I mean that I need to build readers AT SCHOOL.  I can’t control what happens in my kiddos homes, nor can I blame their parents for not promoting reading at home.  I can simply do my best for their child and hope that my students will take their reading beyond the walls of our school.

So…down to business.

Chapter 5


This chapter puts teachers of reading into two categories:

*Efferent readers teach the “how to” of reading as a means to obtaining information from text.

*Aesthetic readers approach teaching of reading from an emotional stance.

I am in fact as aesthetic reader.  I love books.  I talk with my family and friends about books…but I don’t do as much of that chatting with my students.  I make recommendations sometimes.  I share with my students when I’m reading a book I love with them, but I don’t engage with them much about my own reading.

In Reading Recovery I am an efferent teacher.  My students are struggling, emergent readers.  They must learn the “how to,” but that doesn’t mean that I can’t share with them why I love reading.

Donalyn provides some self reflection questions about your reading expereinces and suggests a “Reading Improvment Plan” if you feel like you need it.

Based on her suggestions, here’s my plan:

*Create your own reader’s notebook: I’m going to print, laminate and post this graphic on my classroom door.  Then just print book covers and tape them up throughout the year, as I finish them I’ll move the covers to my reader’s notebook.  I’m planning on including the chapter books I read with my daughter, too, since those are more on my students’ level. (You can grab this by clicking on the picture, then selecting “File” then “Print”)

Right now I'm reading Printable

*Take recommendations from your students: I’m also going to leave a place for recommendations.  I think some of these will come from my students, especially later in the year, but I’m also hoping to engage families with this part by making sure it’s easy to spot during Open House and conference nights.

Please Read

*Commit to a certain amount of reading per day: I love audio books!  It’s my primary form of “reading.”  I drive about an hour each day and can get through a book about every week or two.  But I still have a huge book of “paper books” sitting at my house that I “can’t find the time” to get through.  I ask my students to read 20 minutes each day, so I’m going to challenge myself to join them.  Maybe I’ll even keep a reading log, too, just to hold myself accountable.  If only teachers could earn pizza from Book It, too!  🙂

Be sure to check out my blog friends and link up if you’re posting along!


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