The Book Whisperer: Introduction and Chapter 1

 I had bought this book on my Kindle, but decided this morning to buy a hard copy. This is one of those books that I know I'll be referring to or re-reading each summer!

I've never lead a book study so hang in there folks. The introduction was so quick and to the point with no nonsense, which is just what I like. On page 2 Donalyn says that many students don't see reading as meaningful in their lives.  I know that's true, but I just don't understand it! This happens to have been a discussion I had with my firsties several times this year. Why is it important to know how to read?

Donalyn explains that she shows her love of reading to her students. I am a reader too. I was the kid with the flashlight reading just one more chapter under the covers! Have I told my students that?

In Chapter 1, page 11, I fell in love with this quote. "I know from personal experience that readers lead richer lives, more lives, than those who don't read." I may even share this quote on parent night. I'm even thinking I will show my first graders this quote. I don't know how to stress enough to my parents that reading has to be happening at home as well.

On page 18 Donalyn writes, "These days, I share with my students what no literacy expert could ever teach me. Reading changes your life." I must have read that five times. I think I need a sign that says, "Reading Changes Your Life."(**See post above for poster freebie)

As teachers we all have our favorite units or books or science experiments. Our students are enthusiastic about them because WE are enthusiastic about them. (I try REALLY hard to be excited about teaching the rock cycle, but I think my students see right through my act.)

So this is what I'm wondering:

1) What quotes stood out to you and why?
2) What did you do in your classroom this past year to show enthusiasm for reading?
3) Is there something you want to try or want to change in order to get your students more excited about what being a reader can do for you?

Here are my answers:
*We had Read-a-thons as a reward. The kids could lounge on the floor and read. (They love that word "lounge." They will do anything to have ten minutes to lounge and read.) They were allowed to bring as many books to school as they wanted, and they could swap books with each other. And while they lounged and read, I was lounging right next to them and reading too!

* On the first day of school I have a cute little poster about myself that shows a family picture, my favorite book, my favorite snack, etc. This year I want to introduce myself through books! For example, "Fancy Nancy" to start because I do love me some fancy clothes and shoes. I like "The Dot" because I'm artistic, or "Pinkalicious" because pink is my favorite color. And "Alice the Fairy" because I am excellent at using my imagination. Those are just a few I can think of. Maybe that would help my students to see that books have meaning for many reasons.


  1. Love your thoughts and insights....I posted about similiar things on my blog:) I checked the book out from the library and after Chap. 1 know that's not gonna one ya gotta have:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. I am following you now! I teach in first grade in Texas too! Love your blog. :)
    Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

  3. I love the idea of introducing yourself through books. I think I will be stealing that idea for the fall! : )

  4. Great Start! I will have to think about those questions, so I will post later...... I love the idea of introducing yourself through books, as well. This is a keeper!

    Faithful in First

  5. Here's a quote that stood out for me. It's from page 12 where Miller writes about avid readers who are compliant enough to do her unit activities then rush up to her and say:
    "I'm done with my work; may I read my book now?"

    I've had that exact experience with my students. They always have an self-selected independent book going no matter what else they are doing in reading class. I watched as my students completed their reading "work" and then settled in with "their book." Their words and body language told me that their self-selected book was what they valued most during reading.

    I read the Book Whisperer last summer and am now rereading it so I can discuss it with all you bloggers!

  6. I really like the idea of using books to help the kids get to know who I am! :)

    Third Grade Bookworm

  7. I haven't read this book yet but now after reading your blog I think I need to get it really soon! Thanks for sharing with another Texas teacher!


  8. I love the idea of introducing yourself through books! And the Read-a-Thons sound awesome too.

    Magnificent Multiagers!

  9. You did an amazing job!! I also love the idea of introducing yourself through books...what a great way for the students to connect with their teacher and to see you as a reader.
    Thinking of Teaching

  10. Love, love, love the idea of introducing myself to my class thru books!!! I am going to try it this year. I teach 4th grade and it breaks my heart to see kids who look at reading as a chore (including my own 10 year old son). I think it I not only tell them but show them how reaing has changed my life, it will get them thinking and more importantly reading!!