Readers and Writers Workshop


After reading The Book Whisperer (Donalyn Miller), I began to think about how I ran my reading and writing workshops. I remembered reading a book about using notebooks in workshops a few years ago and pulled it out again. Boy, am I glad I did! Notebook Know-How by Aimeen Buckner is full of easy to implement lessons for the writer’s workshop. Things I like about her lessons: she has included the objective and why the students need to learn that skill, as well as, extension ideas. Hopping on Amazon, I discovered that she wrote another book for the reader’s workshop. Notebook Connections by Aimee Buckner. I love collecting resources, so I bought this book right away. It is formatted in much the same way as her first book. I’m looking forward to trying some of her lessons this coming school year.

Have you used her lessons?


The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller


I love this book! This was the first book I read on summer vacation. It was so engaging that I was not able to put it down, and I finished reading it in one day.

I am itching to get back in to my classroom to change my reading program. New and old thoughts for my reading program:

* Reorganize my library. I currently have it set up by book level. I plan to organize it by genre. Instead of focusing on Accelerated Reader (A.R.) points, my class is going to use a 30 book goal with genre requirements.

* Spiral review “morning work” will now become homework (which will be corrected). This will give me more time for independent reading.

* Reading homework will be skills based. Independent reading will be assigned, but a log for homework will not be used.

* Students will bring books with them to Picture Day, the library, and field-trips (if they are allowed to carry a bag).

* Accountability will be monitored through the use of a reader’s notebook and performance on Accelerated Reader (A.R.) quizzes. My school uses Accelerated Reader/STAR.

* Book Commercials – I love the idea of having on-the-spot book recommendations. It reminds me of Reading Rainbow and Scholastic Book Fair videos.

Have you read the book? What were your thoughts?