home home meet the teacher classroom shop freebie library

The Book Whisperer: Chapter 3

There's a Time and a Place

Welcome to week three of a seven week book study!  Some blogging friends and myself are sharing our thoughts each Monday until mid-November about "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller.   You can get to the other ladies posts at the end of this one.  You might even see a few freebies along the way!

You can read my chapter 1 post by clicking here and chapter two here.

Chapter 3 focuses on independent reading: when and where.  Like myself, Miller has set aside time every day for her students to independently read.  However, she has also come up with several other times to sneak reading in!

She argues that every moment of the day in the classroom should be filled with learning.  Early finisher jobs such as mazes and colouring sheets, and helping the teacher with jobs around the room are distracting and simply busy work.  I had to really think about this one, to be honest.  Sometimes I just need help.  Maybe that's greedy of me.  Maybe I'm stealing precious moments of learning time from my students.  I have word searches and Suduko available in a free time binder.  I'll be honest, there are some colouring sheets in there.  I allow my students to Zentangle.  These are valuable for improving visual spatial growth, relaxation, critical thinking.... I guess if I was strictly a language arts teacher, teaching blocks to different groups of students all day I would agree with her more.  For me, quietly reading is one option of many for free time and my students are trained to not be distracting.  I would also argue that an activity like colouring can be really calming and perhaps needed for some students to self-regulate throughout the day.  I do, however, really love her suggestion to read while waiting to get your class pictures taken.  That's genius!

Click below to see the other ladies' posts for Chapter 3!

post signature


  1. I agree that it's tough when you're not simply a language arts teacher, but I do believe that reading in itself will be a much better fast-finisher activity than colouring sheets :) Although my students loved zentangles last year, and since it did fit in my arts curriculum, I did let them! haha

    1. I agree 100% Linda! I do think there is a time and a place for colouring sheets though too. You are right though, reading is certainly more valuable.

  2. Zen tangle and suduko? Okay, now I wanna be in your class. I love that stuff:)

  3. I think there is time and space for reading, Sudoku and zentangles in the classroom - they are all brain building.