I read and thoroughly enjoyed Donalyn Miller's The Book Whisperer which came out during my first year of teaching, so I was excited to learn out that a group of teachers were doing an online book club of her newest book, Reading in the Wild. Though I am a week behind in finding out about the discussions, I was excited to get my library copy recently and catch up. This #cyberPD is being hosted by Cathy Mere of Reflect and Refine, Laura Komos of Ruminate and Invigorate, and Michelle Nero of Literacy Learning Zone.
Chapters 3-4 of Reading in the WildChapter 3 is titled Wild Readers Share Books and Reading with Other Readers, and Chapter 4 is Wild Readers Have Reading Plans. My favorite sections of these two chapters are the examples Donalyn gives for how to make reading and reading lives visible in the classroom and school communities. I am looking forward to having some additional bulletin board and wall space in my room this year, and these suggestions have sparked some ideas for how best to utilize them.
- Reading Graffiti Wall - a place for students and teachers to share favorite quotes from a book. This became a touchstone place for Donalyn's class and a way for students to share their love of books and characters with each other.
- Reading Doors (or Reading Displays) - what started as teachers displaying covers of favorite books (recently read and from the past) morphed into a place for groups of students to cooperate on building theme-based displays of favorite books and recommendations. A great way for students to take ownership over the book recommendation process.
- Student-driven reading goals or reading resolutions - this matches a lot of what I do with having students design and evaluate quarterly reading goals, but I liked the public emphasis on students posting and sharing their resolutions (which also serves to remind themselves too, I am sure). I may incorporate some of her suggestions for different types of reading goals and challenges (pages 143-150) into the sheet my students use when choosing their own goals.
Finally, as always, I appreciate hearing how other teachers run the conferring aspect of their Reading Workshops and always like the reassurance that I am not the only one who finds conferring (and especially keeping track of conferring) complicated. I would much rather focus on having quality conversations with students about their reading and learning than worrying about which form goes where, but I like the idea of using pre-printed labels help ensure that you are meeting regularly with all students.
Wondering about the possibility of using technology (maybe Padlet) to create online versions of some of the types of displays mentioned in the book as well. Interested to hear if other teachers have used technology in that way.