Book Review: Writers are Readers

We’re in our second year with Lucy Calkins at my school and while most of the kinks of figuring out the curriculum and lesson planning have been ironed out, my principal and I decided that support should continue this year in a different way. I’m focusing my attention on the teachers this year and working with them to provide resources and strategies for their own work as opposed to doing the lessons in the classroom. My main role in the classroom has been to confer with students and re-teach in small groups.

I started the year reading this book and I have already started sharing resources from it with different grade levels.

What drew me to the book was the connection between reading and writing instruction. I think most teachers in my building feel comfortable as being teachers of reading. They have lots of experience teaching and learning about reading. For some reason, writing feels like a brand new, unfamiliar place. This book does a great job of bridging the gap between the two worlds and showing that what we notice and observe as readers is what we want to include as authors.

The books is divided into sections on text structure, comprehension skills, and story elements. I like that because I feel like now I can go back and help make connections for teachers based on the reading skills or concepts with which they are familiar.

I shared the chapter on visualizing with the fourth and fifth grade teams as they are working on small moments. It is a great look at how we try to make movies in our heads as readers and as authors, we want to make sure OUR readers are able to make movies in their heads. It was a great way for teachers to make connections in their practice when teaching adding details and showing vs. telling in writing. Students are starting to make the connection between the books they read and the stories they write.

Here's a link to the book on Amazon!

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