Passionate Reading

Here’s my blog post about my passion for reading that was on Kirby Larson’s blog at the beginning of this week:

You’ll have to excuse it if it looks funny-  I copied and pasted it from a google document where I had typed it up to share with her. 🙂

Passionate About Reading


Passion can be love or hate because it’s any powerful feeling you have about something. The dictionary defines it as:


 [pash-uhn]  Show IPA



any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.


strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.


Most of us are passionate about something: God, family, animals, eating, exercising, sports, television, reading, shopping….


One of my passions is reading. It always has been. Sure I’ve had lulls in my reading life, especially during my teen years, but it’s always resurfaced. Passion doesn’t die in some cases- it just becomes dormant until a spark reignites it.


I became a reader at the ripe age of FOUR. See, on Sunday afternoons after church a quiet peace would settle in our house as everyone read something. A book. A newspaper. Whatever. Since I couldn’t read, I’ve been told that I would whine, fuss, complain, and cry that IT JUST WASN’T FAIR. WHY DOES EVERYONE ELSE GET TO READ AND I CAN’T???????? These little tantrums worked. I was enrolled by my mom, an avid reader, in kindergarten a whole year early. Insert smile and happy dance here!!!


So for 2 years, I attended kindergarten and learned to read. Dick and Jane were 2 of my closest childhood friends. And I’ve had many, many, many book friends since then.


As a teacher of readers, I want my students to see me as a reader. I want them to see my passion for reading. So what do I do to make my passion for reading visible? I talk the talk and walk the walk. At the beginning of the year, I challenge all of them to read more books than me for the school year. I like to throw that in there! The first few days of reading workshop I read while they read. I bring my current book to school. I talk about my love of books. I talk about the books I’ve loved. I talk about my relationship with my book characters. During our daily read aloud, I let them see my connection to these characters in the way I read, the way I laugh, and sometimes the way I cry. I ask them what they are reading. I ask them how they like what they are reading. I ask them about their reading.



This year I even tried something new- My Book Door. How much more visible could I get?bookdoor (2).jpg

My students can see at a glance WHAT I’ve read and HOW MUCH I’ve read. And how much more I’ve read than them. Wink-wink!


I only hope that this passion I have for reading has some kind of influence on the readers in my classroom: the avid readers, the reluctant readers, the non-readers. If my reading passion touches them in any positive way, then I will feel successful as a teacher of these very young and oh, so impressionable readers.





Lover of reading



Shannon Clark

Wife to 1 husband

Mother of 3 children

Owner of 7 dogs, many horses, cows, and donkeys

6th grade teacher, B.A. in criminal justice, Master’s in childhood education, ED.S. in elementary education, ponders quite often about becoming a NBCT

Alabama country girl who loves to drive a tractor

Lover of running, reading, teaching

I blog at

Reading Marathon








In celebration of Dr. Seuss and Read Across America week we had our own little reading marathon Friday. Most of the day was spent reading, but I threw in a couple of other activities.

This is a picture of our note pass. They each wrote a paragraph about the book they were reading. Then we passed it to the person on the right. They read and commented. Repeat. Simple but fun and engaging!


We did a book pass, too. I’ve done this in the past with 2 other classes. Everyone has a book (that I pick out). 🙂 I tell them to start reading on page 1 for about 2 minutes. Stop and write the title down IF it’s a book you’re interested in reading. Pass to the person on the right. Repeat. In an ideal situation, they would be exposed to as many books as there are students. However, we ran out of time. BUT-only 2 students out of 14 said they didn’t find a book they were interested in. SUCCESS!




Of course, we had our normal read aloud. We are currently reading WONDER by R.J. Palacio. I have 6 boys who say it’s boring so any ideas you can throw my way to get them into it…… 🙂 I think that next week I’m going to have them send Auggie a “text” before he starts school. 🙂

They had to pay attention while they were reading (don’t we always want them to do that????) and lift a line our of their book. One that spoke to their heart, one that they loved the way it sounds, etc. Anything they wanted to choose. Here’s our chart:



It was a great day!!!

The only drawback was that one student didn’t come to school. That student stayed out because ALL WE WERE GOING TO DO WAS READ.


I guess that student doesn’t think any learning is going on when that happens. JUST when I start to feel successful….


War Eagle, The Fox, and TPT

I’m finally home from a conference-been there since Wednesday night. It feels good to be home!!

Let me go ahead and say, “War Eagle!”

2013 SEC Champions!! And what a game!


I normally don’t update my Facebook status with football news. It’s too dangerous. 🙂

But I had to do this one! 🙂


After the hubby went to bed, I got busy on Teachers Pay Teachers. And yes, I paid several teachers!


I bought a couple of math things, but what I really went crazy with was for reading time.

I should have been doing some intervention all along. Because this is what we’re facing. One of my 6th graders couldn’t read the word “rough” the other day. And he has actually placed at a higher reading level than 2 other students.

So while I will be keeping the reading workshop routine, because I’m in love with it, I’m going to start pulling groups with a plan in mind.

I’ve already divided my 16 students into 3 groups. Will I be able to meet with all 3 groups every day? No. But hopefully I can meet with 2 groups per day. I’m going to squeeze some time away from writing (I know-I know!) and history/science.

Before you panic about the writing, just know that I will only be stealing 5-10 minutes. 🙂

Also, I’m going to keep my reading mini-lesson that is while class MINI! If it takes us 2-3 weeks to closely read and analyze a short text, then so be it! I’ve GOT to address these reading deficiencies in my students. Otherwise, the close reads are worthless. Right?

So I’m thinking that with my lowest group I will meet with them everyday.

Sight words, decoding multisyllable words, oral reading fluency, and comprehension. A. Little. Bit. Each. Day.

I really don’t know how long all of that is going to take. It sounds like it would take 30 minutes!!

I still don’t have it all planned out in my head. I’m worried. I’m scared. Not about doing it. But staying on a time schedule. And not knowing what to give up if it’s taking too long!

Most teachers worry about what the other kids will be doing. Not me because I have them reading. Easy Peasy.

Lately I’ve been thinking I need 90 minutes for math and 90 minutes for reading. Did I already write about that in another blog post?!??? 🙂

So here’s to tomorrow and getting some actual planning and organizing done!

Teaching Theme

THEME: The big idea, the message

Have never really done a good job in the past teaching or explaining theme. Changing that this year. Hopefully. 🙂

We’ve been talking about theme during our daily read aloud time. They’ve been identifying in their independent reading.

Today I took it a further step by showing them how to write about it and pull evidence from the text to support it.

They helped me write this. Then I had them copy it into their reading notebook so they would have an example.


Below is revised copy. 🙂


We then color coded it so they could SEE the intro, evidence, and expanding on evidence, and conclusion.

After independent reading, they had to write about a theme from their book.

Oh yeah, before all this, I explained difference between main idea and theme:


How do you teach theme?

Book Character Day

We dressed up as a book character today. 15/17 of my 6th graders participated which I thought was pretty good!

I was Slim from Hank the Cowdog, and my husband brought one of our cowdog a to school as Hank! 🙂

Forgot to get a picture of him, but here we are.


I would say we had a great day, but I wouldn’t know. I already had to leave at 11 to get to Perdido Beach for a meeting at 6. But 1st thing this morning I found out I was supposed to be at a common core meeting at our central office from 9-11.

Let’s just say that today was VERY stressful. And after a 275 mile drive down here, a 2 hour meeting, and supper- I’m done!

Happy Halloween!

Has someone caught the reading bug?

I’ve had the reading bug for years. I think it’s getting worse. You will HARDLY EVER find me without a book to read. In the car. At the farm. Everywhere. My husband laughs at me. (Mostly) 🙂

I hope I never get cured. I like this sickness.

I also hope that my students (or a lot of them) will catch the reading bug from me. To be forever infected.

Take a look at this picture. Judge for yourself.

Does anyone look like they may have caught it????!!!??


🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂