Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

So many of my book recommendations have been from the weekly shares on Thank you to Jen and Kellee for hosting and thank you to all who contribute their reading lists! To see what others are reading, head on over to the website and link into all of the reading recommendations.

I am working hard to learn more about writing instruction in the early primary grades so I have asked some of our kindergarten and first-grade teachers what their favorite professional books are and over the weekend, I did some reading. Thank you to Marcia Gibbs for No More "I'm Done!" by Jennifer Jacobson.

No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary GradesThis book is full of practical ideas and suggestions for managing the writing workshop in primary classrooms. Jennifer Jacobson offers many ideas for management, language, mentor texts, and instructional strategies. She shares subtle changes such as asking "what is happening in your picture?" instead of "tell me about your picture", explaining that the former gets students to "respond to this question by telling a story, and that can give them the confidence to begin recording text" (p. 40). An entire chapter is devoted to trait-specific mini-lessons that cite specific mentor texts and address traits of writing including focus, fluency, voice, and elaboration with additional suggestion and ideas for conventions. Just reading her lessons make me want to dig out my copies of some of the books and do some of the inquiry based work she describes!

I loved Jennifer Jacobson's final words which are: Initiative, motivation, and self-esteem. Wouldn't it be great if every young student emerged from their writing classroom equipped with these three qualities?

Happy reading (and writing)!

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