SOL #10 A Reader Visits the Classroom

I think that I could actually do some pretty decent writing with this piece, but I’m at a conference with lots of Nerdy Book Club Friends, so I’m just going to try and get this Slice done as quickly as possible.

Yesterday, my friend Donalyn Miller spent the day in my district. It was a perfect day. Perfect.

My favorite part of the day was watching Donalyn confer with my readers during independent reading. She conferred with three kids , and watching my friend and The Book Whisperer talk books with “my” kids was magical.

I was so proud of my little readers. They were brave. My students didn’t see Donalyn as The Book Whisperer, they saw her as a reader. They had something in common.

I could go on and on about what they talked about and how the conferences went, but those conferences were between Mrs. Miller and my readers (Plus, I want to make sure I find a seat in Jim Burke’s session). The conferences didn’t feel fake, they felt sacred.

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13 thoughts on “SOL #10 A Reader Visits the Classroom

  1. I love that phrase “nerdy book club friends.” As soon as I read it, I pictured my “nerdy book club friends.” 🙂

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  2. That’s what it should be about! It should be about kids being able to talk to adults who read and for them to share books with each other. When I am faced with teachers who want kids to take AR tests to check comprehension, it irritates me. When I hear about Donalyn visiting your classroom and connecting with kids, it makes me realize how easy it can be. Just people talking books. I’m sure she was able to “check their comprehension” in her short visit.

    AWESOME!

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  3. It is wonderful when teacher friends can visit each other’s classrooms, especially Donalyn Miller in yours. My friend is going to spend some time in Linda Rief’s classroom over spring break. I am jealous, but today I will just be content that in my role as a reading coach I can be a visitor every day in my colleagues classrooms and work with kids. I’m glad your kids had the same opportunity.

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  4. Fun! I like the idea of a guest conferencer. They’d help celebrate a love of reading by giving students a new audience to share their thoughts with, maybe give teachers that “second opinion” about why someone might be stuck in a reading groove that keeps them from moving into a deeper love of reading, or just reflect back what the kids have to say. We can’t all get the Book Whisperer in our rooms, but maybe we can cultivate some of the same practices.

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  5. Jealous on so many levels here – seeing Nerdy Book Club friends, going to see Jim Burke, and having Donalyn in your classroom. 🙂 Beyond that, you are so right. I wrote about conferring the other day and how I struggled when I started. But when I began seeing my kids as readers and talking to them as I’d talk to anyone that was a reader, it made the conferences so much richer.

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  6. I first heard your name when I was sitting beside Ruth Ayres in Kate Messner’s session at NCTE this year and you were introduced to her by none other than…Donalyn Miller. It seemed every session I went to, Donalyn Miller was there (that was seriously a good sign–I was clearly choosing sessions of quality if Donalyn Miller found them worthy). What a powerful collaborative experience for both of you! I hope you go back to this moment to share more when you are not immersed in professional development and networking opportunities!

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  7. Glad your students had a rich reading day with your friend Donalyn 🙂 Hope you did get a good seat in Jim Burke’s session. I am a great fan of his books and have heard him speak twice- his students are lucky they have him!

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  8. Woah, I like how you said that it was magical. I couldn’t imagine it any other way with Donalyn Miller!! Thank for sharing with us about it.

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