Celebration honoured. This is the loveliest of reasons to share. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week.
This week, we had a Professional Day in my District and I went to this event: Krashen Redux where I got to virtually watch a Steven Krashen talk and have numerous “discussion” breaks to talk about what we were thinking/learning in response. This was a fantastic morning with rich discussion about what the research reveals about free voluntary reading and what exactly makes a difference for children.
At our table, we talked about the importance of not just access to books and time to read them but also about how essential classroom climate is to help students become avid readers. High school teachers talked about reading when their students read to be models. When my students are reading, I am listening in and conferencing with different children. It is not about reading in front of my students that is the key piece – it is about the personal reading that I do at other times. I need to be a passionate reader who knows books so that I can book talk books, generate excitement and put the right book in the hands of the reader who needs it. I also need to share my reading life. I tell my students about books I am reading to my children. I share with them about fantastic picture book discoveries I made at the library, books that followed me home from the bookstore and books that kept me up half the night. My students know I am a reader because I share this part of my life fully with them.
So today I am celebrating my rich reading life. Right now I am reading:
My current novel: Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur
The novel I am reading to my children: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Nonfiction titles I am reading to my children: The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins and Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia written by Sy Montgomery with photographs by Nic Bishop.
The novel I am reading to my students: Rump by Liesl Shurtliff
Nonfiction titles we have on the go in the classroom:
- Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
- Lifetime written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
- Down, Down, Down by Steve Jenkins
With my student book club (grades 4 to 7): Just starting Jinx by Sage Blackwood
With my Junior Book club (grades 2 and 3): Charlotte’s Web written by E.B. White
And then of course there are the picture books that are everywhere. Titles I read at breakfast, while folding laundry, while waiting for my daughter at her class, while brushing my teeth, etc., etc., etc.,
So many books to celebrate! I feel lucky to have such a rich reading life and amazing reading communities to celebrate with like #IMWAYR, #nfpb2014 and #nerdybookclub
Read anything great lately? Please share!
This is truly a post that celebrates all that it takes to have a rich reading life, Carrie. Rump is on my TBR list – I’ll get there, one day!
When you do, prepare to be delighted! I think this is one of the most successful read alouds I have done with a class.
Steve Krashen’s is great. His messages about reading are ones that everyone should hear. You have many wonderful titles here and I love that you show spaces where they are shared.
Thanks Jennifer. I feel very lucky to have so many opportunities to be reading within a community!
So glad you got to see Steve Krashen. What fun that is for PD, Carrie. I just got Down, Down, Down from my library, & you know I love that you share all your reading, at school and at home, even folding laundry! You are my inspiration of course! Don’t know Jinx-is it good? Have a great weekend!
Thank you so much Linda! Jinx is wonderful fantasy! Our next family read aloud will be Jinx’s Magic (the sequel) as both of my children have now read Jinx.
Love this post so much! How is The Animal Book working as a read aloud? Think I’m going to start it with my kids this week. Last night, I finished reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. This morning, I reread The Invisible Boy and planned some ways I might share it in Children’s Lit. I think I might take Jinx on vacation with me next month. It looks so good!
The Animal Book is great for the three of us – one child on each side of me. Sometimes we do a page, sometimes a few. So rich to promote discussion. Look forward to hearing how you share The Invisible Boy! And yes, Jinx is wonderful!
Carrie, you are clearly a lover and follower of The Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller, or is she a follower of you? Your post rings clear with the messages of her new book, Reading in the Wild. The two of you write with such sincere, authentic and genuine voices that could only come from true book lovers. That is what makes it so easy to share and convince our students that reading great books is something that is absolutely not to be missed.
Inspired by you and Donalyn Miller, I started a book club with the grade 3 and 4 students at my school this week. It is very organic with the simple goals of reading and talking about books and building a book loving community. The enthusiasm was ELECTRIC and the group so eclectic, including those kids known for their love of reading and even some of the schoolyard’s “troublemakers”. The vision of those kids, heads bent over, noses stuck in every kind of book and literally soaking in the text was a pure delight. That vision was topped only by their zeal to recommend the book they were reading and to come back the next day. In your words, it was a room full of “book love.”
Thank you for the inspiration and for sharing the stories of your kids!!
Stephanie – Wow, this comment just made my day! I am a huge fan of Donalyn Miller and her work and passion for sharing reading with students and making sure that they are readers for life. I have read The Book Whisperer multiple times and am making my way (slowly and happily) through Reading in the Wild. I am so excited to hear about your book club! I must admit that there are moments with our book club at school that just slay me. The things the kids say. The questions they ask. Wow. Something about the intimacy of a roomful of people there to talk about ideas and stories. Do you have a blog? You should share your book club stories!
I loved Reading in the Wild and I so enjoy your blog because my students are younger (I teach grade 3/4 in a K-4 school in Aylmer, Ontario) than Donalyn Miller’s so I find your book recommendations more relevant for my kids. Not that that keeps me from reading the others. I don’t have a blog but I am going to make it my goal to start jotting kid stories down when they happen because, as you said and share in your blog, they crack me up. We had a visit this week from some very unusual animals- an African porcupine, a kangaroo, and an albino hedgehog and her babies. The kids were in absolute awe. When we returned to the classroom, a conversation ensued in which we talked about how those animals reminded us of Ivan and Ruby in The One and Only Ivan. I had recently read this novel aloud to them and they had become quite affected by the characters’ life in the Big Top Mall Arcade & Circus. The post presentation smiles sort of left their faces as each new reason for not keeping “pets” like that was shared. I certainly hadn’t set out to burst their bubbles but it was exciting to see them make such rich and emotional connections between story characters and this life experience.
It is fun to have a way to share all of the amusing moments that happen in a classroom! What great connections your students made to The One and Only Ivan. It sure impacted them and is shaping how they view the world and what happens around them. This is so powerful!
Great post Carrie. Your reading life is full indeed. Lots of favorites on your list.
We are lucky aren’t we – to have so many books to choose from?
Any time we share reading with students and teacher it is certainly something to celebrate. My list is growing so fast since I started reading your blog! I guess I should thank you for that but I don’t know if my husband would! 🙂 I am not a big fantasy reader but I loved Jinx. For me it was a spin-off of Harry Potter that I could mange! I have Jinx’s Magic but haven’t read it yet. I also just ordered the False Prince tonight…hopefully I will enjoy it as well.
My family loved The False Prince! It’s true that books purchasing can get a little wild but also believe we can never have too many books! So pleased that you find some good titles here!
Carrie- Loved this post mainly because it echoes what I say to teachers on a daily basis! Right now I’m finishing THE BOOK THIEF and also the first book in the 39 CLUES series. And I just got BEHOLDING BEE from the library and SHADOW THRONE from our sixth grade. And I have a whole list of new nonfiction titles from the Ten for Ten event earlier this week. I need a snow day (or two) to catch up on my reading!
I LOVE Beholding Bee! We are waiting for it to come out in paperback so that we can use it with our book club. It was one of my favourite titles of 2013. I also adored The Book Thief – read it on my very happy vacation this summer but I was able to just focus on nothing else. Such an intense title. Know what you mean about needing days to just sit and read!
What a rich reading life! I need to start adding at least one of the books I’m reading on my email signatures so others can kind of see how reading is important.
Fantastic idea Earl! Any way to spread the joy of books and reading!
Your enthusiasm is contagious! Passion for books is probably one the most important elements we can share with our students. Thanks for the reminder.
Thank you Julieanne. I believe that fully.
I gladly join you in this celebration. The enthusiasm for reading and book recommendations of blogosphere have certainly enriched my reading life. And it has helped me to recommend books to my students. I also enjoy how passionately you write about the parents’ and teachers’ role in reading lives of children.
Thanks so much Terje. I do think it is so absolutely important to bring children into the magic of stories.
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I’m going to chime in with Stephanie Cooke, Carrie, and agree with what she wrote. You show clear evidence of what it takes to motivate and inspire young readers. If we are not readers ourselves, our passion can not radiate to our kids when helping them to be readers.
I read Reading in the Wild this past summer along with Igniting Passion For Reading by Steven Layne and both gave me some new ideas to jumpstart lulls in our reading workshop. A great idea from Layne’s book is to create new reading goals in January ~ go out of your box with reading. So, I’m reading a genre I do not typically navigate to – fantasy. Ughh. I made a commitment to read the Harry Potter books this winter. With great hesitance, I can honestly say that I am loving them. Who knew????
Love your blog and am going to dig into it and be inspired!
Wow Shari – I am very flattered! I read Layne’s book last summer too. Love his persuasive voice! I remember wishing I could convince every teacher to read his book. I used to think fantasy wasn’t for me either. But then I had kids. When my two (I have b/g twins who are now 11) were little they were obsessed with dragons. This led us to all kinds of fantasy reading. We’ve never left. Most of our favourite read alouds together are still fantasy titles – Harry Potter among them (I read 1-6 aloud to them) and now we get hooked on trilogies and series like Sage Blackwood’s Jinx (next up is Jinx’s Magic), The False Prince trilogy, just read Vengekeep Prophecies, we are anxiously awaiting book 3 in The Emerald Atlas trilogy . . . I am now keen about fantasy too – some of my very favourite stories to read aloud! So stepping out of your comfort zone sometimes lands you in quite the cozy spot!
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