Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Sayings: Parts, Wholes, and Special Guests



Don't you just love a good Donalyn Miller thought?  This one reminds me of something I learned years ago in my Reading Recovery training.  It's managed to help shape much of how I teach reading.  It's that whole-part-whole concept.  The parts don't necessarily drive instruction as much as the whole does.

This concept determines how I use my daily shared reading of big books.  It all starts with engaging and quality literature.  There's the whole, which we read daily and enjoy first and foremost.  The parts come from right off the pages of the book.  I find myself asking, "What parts does this big book offer that fit the needs of my students and the curriculum?"  We take the parts out.  We investigate and work with them and very importantly put them right back into the context of the whole as Donalyn has suggested.  It's all about real reading experiences, which seems to allude to the fact that there's such a thing as fake reading experiences.  Hmmm.

Before you go, pretty please take a few minutes to visit some special Saturday Sayings' guests of mine.  I'm really excited that three very sweet ladies are sharing quotes and thoughts this morning too.  I, for one, can't wait to read them.  Ready, set, go! 


Kerri 
Jenny


Meghan
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17 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you are awake! I'm on my second cup of coffee waiting for your saying!! The "fake" reading for my students may be when we are reading together from their basal, but it does help them practice some important skills until they are ready to step out and do real reading on their own.
    When I see a group gathered around one of the big books I've read to them and discussing, laughing and reading it together then I know I'm doing my job and to me that is the real reading that I get to see part by part develop over the first grade year! Thanks for sharing!
    Jenny

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    1. Jenny, how early were you awake this morning? :) Anyway, I'm so glad you joined me today for some thoughts. I love hearing your take. You bring great thoughts to the table every time!

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  2. Couldn't agree more! So important not to do everything in isolation, but to put it into practice with real reading activities. I'm off to read what your guests have to say today too!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, you're a master at the real stuff. In your particular situation, it would be easy to do otherwise.

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  3. Donalyn is awesome! I never thought of it that way before. I was just thinking about my class the other day and wondering if I was balancing those pieces enough with the whole.

    NotJustChild'sPlay

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    1. Miss Trayers, it's definitely something that I need to wonder as well. The whole is so important. Thanks for coming by today.

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  4. I'm reading that book right now. She definitely makes me think about how I teach...which of course is good for me!
    :-)

    Crystal
    Teaching Little Miracles

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    1. Crystal, aren't you loving it? She makes me think too! I need her to write another one.

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  5. Great reminder of how important whole-part-whole really is! Tying everything together helps children so much more than things done in isolation. For example, reading the words on the word wall is okay, but using the words in reading, writing, and word work is so much better!
    I will check out the other sayings today!
    LiteracyMinute

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    1. Sandi, you're so very right. The word wall is a great example of something that could be used in isolation. I love that you leave your thoughts here on my blog.

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  6. I LOVE Saturday Sayings. Every Saturday, I go to Leader's Meeting for a Bible study at 4:30am...then I get home look for the Saturday Saying posts, and then go back to sleep:-) I think I even have a saying picked out, so I can join the Saturday Sayings that I love so much!

    Donalyn Miller is amazing and I can't wait for her new book! She got me out of a slump and made me feel okay to use basal readers, mostly for flattening out artwork:-)

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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    1. Flattening artwork! That's very funny, Laurie!

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    2. Laurie, Donalyn has a new book?! I want one, and I don't even care what it's about. You are too very sweet to make Saturday Sayings part of your Saturday morning ritual, even ahead of going back to bed. That for sure warms my heart!

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  7. I'm embarrassed to say I STILL haven't read that book. Do you remember me telling you months ago that I was going to read it? I honestly think its because I'm addicted to my iPad. Anyhow, excellent quote! Thanks!

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    1. Barbara, I can't really get after you too much. I still have books in my pile that have been waiting for me way too long. When you get to it, let me know!

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