First of all, I would just like to say how awesome Penny Kittle is. This book is so amazing and it gives so much advice for teachers and future teachers. I always get such a relief when I read a couple of chapters from her and confidence in myself as I continue this journey that I am on to be the best teacher I can be.
Anyway, going to chapter 5 about book talks, I was getting flashbacks from my sixth grade year when my teacher would have book talks with us. She would grab three or four books and summarize each one for us and she would also mention if she has read the book herself. Normally, she would grab books that were new or she hadn’t read them yet. She would give us the chance to pick which book we wanted her to read and then everyday at 2:30 she would read at least a couple of chapters to us and then leave us hanging on the edge of our seats. She was really good at picking the books and then reading to the best part and then closing the book. We would all say “No! Keep reading! What’s going to happen next?” She would just laugh and tell us that we would just have to wait till tomorrow. It was really awful when it was Friday and we had to wait all weekend till Monday rolled around.
Everything, or mostly everything that was discussed in this chapter, most of my teachers have done. Although, I don’t really remember any one of them using the book to teach qualities of writing, I love this idea. I like the three questions she asks her students to get them learning about writing.
1. What do you think is wrong with mom?
2. What do you think comely means?
3. How would you describe the economic condition of this family based on evidence in the text?
I really like the idea of getting your students involved with the reading so that the teacher isn’t the only one talking. They get a chance to learn different styles of writing because every book is different. That’s why teachers should always pick different kinds of books. You can always learn something from books.
For the last couple of years, I’ve heard how important conferencing with your students is. It gives you, as the teacher, to get to know them more on a personal level and to know how they are doing in class. It also gives the student a chance to explain their fears and goals to you in hope that you could help them. Conferencing builds up a wall of trust between the teacher and student.
I liked reading the different types of conferences that Penny put together. You would think that conferences would be the same but there are actually different types. Conferences that monitor a reading life (which is the one I am used to thanks to my teachers in college) and conferences that increase complexity and challenge, which I never would’ve thought of to conference about. I want to make sure my students get conferenced about everything so that way I know they are getting the attention they need from me and I can see what areas I need to work on to help them succeed.