I think I have renamed Monday, "Read More Monday".
That seems to be the essence of Miller's words of wisdom: get the kids reading more. And make sure that teachers are reading "more" too; teachers are reading role models for students.
I've got to share some book excitement with you. Friday was a Professional Development Day for us. And you know how they always have displays of amazing books and toys and resources for the classroom. Well, a few things just called my name so loudly, I was compelled to buy them. (And a few colleagues added their persuasion when I erroneously thought that I did not really need a new underwear book!)
Here are my buys.
Only four books and an amazing puppet - but the school book fair is only a couple weeks away. I have to pace myself.
Chapter 6 is titled Cutting the Teacher Strings. It's time to take a good hard look at things I do because they are things that I have always done.
As teachers, we surround reading - maybe even smother reading - with all sorts of activities. We have book reports, book talks, round robin reading, popcorn reading (which was a new one for me). But none of them improve students' reading. Or increase their engagement with the reading process. They might do the exact opposite.
But we have always done them.
And that is not a good enough reason to keep doing them.
For me, that has been a bit of a theme the past week.
Miller reminded me that there needs to be purpose to our reading activities. Everyone's time needs to be used wisely and productively.
At the Conference I attended on Friday, I went to a workshop on rethinking Calendar routines. We were challenged to look at our Calendar time, and get rid of activities that were not engaging our students and challenging them to learn deeper.
I also have a student teacher spending a week with us soon. I always ask my student teachers to be able to justify (in non teacher language) each of the lessons they are going to facilitate. I need to be able to do the same.
So, I am challenged to reflect on my students reading/writing and math learning - and the activities I facilitiate/provide.
On a lighter note - I read how to make a tutu this week - and now have quite a stunning tutu for Halloween. I might be the only girl in my class who is not Elsa.
These nice ladies are probably more focused than I am. Happy reading.