Saturday, May 14, 2011

No two persons ever read the same book. ~ Edmund Wilson

Just this week a box that contained a new book arrived! What teacher does not love the smell and look of a brand new book?  Who doesn’t love the opportunity to be the first to crack the book open, pressure the binding and begin turning each crisp new page? It was the arrival of my school’s summer professional book club book…Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Differentiated Instruction for Building Strategic, Independent Readers by Jennifer Serravallo.

Teachers enjoy reading the same professional book together.  It is so exciting to hear the individual and personal journeys that have brought each one of us to where we are in our teaching.  Although we will be reading the same words on the page, it will be our individual journeys and what we bring of ourselves to the discussions that will enrich the reading experiences of all who participate.

The blurb on the back of the book, written by Lucy Calkins, is what grabbed our teachers when making our selection:
For Teachers who sometimes feel as if data—based instruction, differentiated groupings, and formative assessments somehow involve going over to The Dark Side, this book is a powerful antidote. It will help you know that you can hold tight to your deepest beliefs about children and literature, classroom communities, and good teaching.”

Often when developing small groups for reading instruction in the classroom, it is easy to get caught up in the management of the group and not necessarily the purpose of the group.  Hopefully this book will support us in finding a way to use individual conferences and small group conferences to drive our instruction and meet the needs of our readers in the classroom.

Our summer book club will divide the book in thirds and meet at a different teacher’s house each month.  It will be this casual setting, wonderful food, and the personal experiences shared when reading the same book that will serve as another mile marker on our journey of teaching literacy.

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