Shattered Heart.....and Daily 5

Saying goodbye to my daughter today as she left for college was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do:(  Yes I am proud of her and yes I will see her (she's 2 hours away instead of 2 states) and yes I am excited about this new step in her life and yes it is a blessing that she can even go BUT it is still hard!!!  I feel like there is this emptiness in my house (and my heart).  I don't do well with changes and this is a biggie!  I am so grateful God has put so many wonderful people and friends in my life.  I got cards, scripture, emails, phone calls, and a yummy chocolate  bouquet from my bestie and another friend.

Thank you my precious friends for "carrying me" through this day:)

I also wanted to blog a little about yesterday's post.  I have had a few questions from people so thought it might be easier if I tried to answer them in a post. 
One question was about having the book luggage prefilled for the kids.  I did not do this because The Book Whisperer is all about loving to read and free choice...SO I chose to let my kids fill their own book luggage.  Now.....I did do quite an extensive lesson about "Just Right Books"/good fit books  and modeled quite a bit before I set them free for the book frenzy.
Another question...How long did the book frenzy take?  You know...I got so caught up in it all I am not quite sure...I would say at least 30 minutes.
How did it go?  Well, for my first time doing it...I feel like it went GREAT.  Some of the kids asked me some questions....others asked where certain topics, were there a few (2 to be exact) kids who didn't really do as I asked with making sure the book is a good fit?  Yep...but when they saw me making such a huge deal over the ones that were doing as they were taught, they quickly started to follow:)

I am going to share something....a concern....I have switched from "busy" work for morning work to having them get their luggage when they come in and reading as The Book Whisperer recommends...I did see a few kiddos this morning looking around, pretending to read...After the bell rang we had a little "chat" about reading to self and how well they did yesterday and they need to do the same thing in the morning as we do in reading.  I think with continued encouragement and modeling they will get's only day 3.  We are working on our stamina and I am looking forward to introducing Daily 5's Read to Someone on Monday:)



  1. I guess the busy days of school will help with your daughter going away to college, but I can imagine how hard it is.

    As to your concern about the pretend reading, I think it will get better over time. Yet I can't help but think about the posting on the sister's website this week. They reflected on how as teachers we come together in the morning and spend a few minutes of small talk, perhaps over coffee as we try to catch up, if only for a moment, with one another. It is almost a ritual and hard to imagine coming right in and "getting to work." Isn't this the same for our students? I wonder if you might switch your morning time to "talking about books" perhaps with some guiding questions so that kids can get just a moment to catch up. Just a thought.

  2. I read the Book Whisperer last summer and so started my classroom last fall with coming right in to read. At the beginning of the year, I had SEVERAL lookers but let me tell you, 2nd semester when I had a few moments to sit and reflect, I noticed kids who complained about reading at the beginning, coming right in and getting to reading. They even read until I said to find their stopping spot and kept going!! It works!! They will get there! It's a wonderful thing to see kids evolve into thoughtful readers!!

  3. Tara, my daughter and I are VERY close. She is 23 years old now and the day she moved out to go to college was one of the hardest days of my life but it was also one of the proudest days as well. She only went to live in the dorms at the University that is literally 5 miles away but I felt like she was 5 states away. There is a song by Mark Harris called Find Your Wings and it is about your child growing up and the there is a line in the song that always reminds me of my feelings the day my daughter moved out it says "Its not living if you don't reach for the sky, I'll have tears as you take off but I'll cheer as you fly" Its true because we raise them and love them and prepare them for the day they leave the nest, and that day is such a sad but wonderful day. I pray that you adjust well to the changes and that your daughter does too. My daughter graduated from college last year and now she lives and teaches 2 hours away, that was a tough move for me too but I am still SO proud of her and the woman she has become. I always tease her and say "this is the thanks I get I raise you to be a responsible independent awesome young woman and how do you repay me? You go and move away!!" LOL It gets easier, and even though we were already close, we got closer when she moved out on her own.

  4. Tara, my son too will be leaving for college soon. Unlike my daughter who just graduated he will be an hour away versus 23 hours. It is such an amazing time. I loved watching my daughter grow and turn into a wonderful woman. I can't wait to see how my son transforms.

    I also teach 4th grade, I have a self-contained classroom of all boys with emotional and behavioral problems. I am anxious to read the Book Whisperer to see what kinds of knowledge I can gain.

    I look forward to following your blog.

  5. Tara, I help my daughter move in I had to get substitute plans ready this afternoon! Thankfully, our wonderful student teacher from last year is subbing for me. The kids already know her and adore her! My son doesn't go back until the end of the month. It's different when they are gone....and wonderful when they come home!
    Mary Pitner Pitner's Potpourri

  6. Tara, my heart goes out to you, my girl will be moving in next month, I'm trying not to think about it. I want her to live on campus, I know she'll have so many wonderful experiences, I know she'll grow, I know it will be an experience of a lifetime, but I also know I'll be a mess......
    Big hugs girl!
    Dual Kinder Teacher

  7. What sweet friends you have to support you right now as your daughter is moving. I know that must be so hard! My son is only 1, but before I know it, he will be all grown up, too!

    I've also been reading The Book Whisperer and am on chapter 4, but I wondered how reading first thing in the morning would look in my room. I imagined several students pretending to read, as you mentioned. I am excited to incorporate it into my class this year!

  8. I am sorry your heart is hurting Tara:( That chocolate goodness I see up there in those photos sure does look yummy. Ps: I'm having a give away so go check out my blooooooooooooooog.

  9. I remember how my mom felt when I left home. I don't know if it gets any easier but I can assure you that deep down she is hurting and missing you too!

  10. It's sweet how much you care about your daughter.
    As I did Daily 5 last year I introduced them 5 in order of the book and when I attended the Sisters conference in November, they recommended introducing Read to Someone last. I wished I had waited cause adding this more social element for my class caused great difficulty with maintaining their stamina for Read to Self. I had to relaunch and reteach several times through the year. Just something to think on. Be certain that they are ready for the more interactive of the Daily 5. Hope it's going well!

  11. Kaitlyn leaves today for her freshman retreat at UT, then comes home to pack Monday and launches for good next Tuesday. I thought I was done crying, but your post has brought those tears back. Be blessed as you navigate through the new normal; thank goodness for SKYPE! Barbara

  12. Hi Tara! I would love your thoughts on data notebooks if you get a chance. I'm in need of some wisdom and guidance! Thanks! ~Amanda @ The Teaching Thief
    Data Notebook Help

  13. Tara... Oh my heart is with you as I have in recent years had to go through the same with my two boys. While the hurt in your heart seems so big...I promise watching them fly and grow will be an immense pleasure! Thinking about you!


  14. I was wondering about the student survey or questionnaire you mentioned having your student fill out, would you be willing to share it or show an example, I want to do something like that and yours sounded great!


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