Last week, my daily inspiration from Senator Cory Booker’s daily instagram post would make this community smile. His message, 5 Steps to Be a Better Writer –> 1. write 2. write more 3. write when you want to 4. write when you don’t 5. keep on writing. His message of consistency is why at the end of March, I feel like I am a better writer! (Grateful to the March SOL Challenge!)

This week I consistently completed participation in my self-created Summer Virtual Book Club. it started years ago, after a TCRPW Summer Institute, to practice writing about reading. One book, a notebook page and writing instruments. Read. Think. Place thinking onto the notebook page in words and/or images. Such would help the reader read closely and remember.

For the past three summers, I made the conscience effort as a white woman to read about African American history during my summer virtual book club.
Summer of 2020- Stamped.
Summer of 2021 – How the Word is Passed.
Summer of 2022 – How to Raise an Antiracist.

Yesterday, I posted this image after reviewing this read-aloud I made of These Hands, illustrated by the amazing illustrator, Floyd Cooper. I do believe I am getting better at writing about reading. I do think I know more so I can do better. #ConsistencyisKey

*Note – Feel free to ‘steal” my idea to host a virtual book club. I recommend ALL these books. ALL deserve a close read! Feel free to reach out and join my 2023 Virtual Summer Book Club. I encourage you to read ALL picture books by Floyd Cooper (Jan. 8, 1956 – July 15, 2021). Feel free to share my read-aloud with students or look for this book in your public library to do your own read-aloud. I plan to share it as school opens. It will allow us to discuss African American history and reflect on what our hands can accomplish this school year!

11 thoughts on “Consistency

  1. Erika says:

    I love your book club! I was pretty consistent with my writing this summer, but still “owe” a book club post. I so struggle with images… Thank you for always being an inspiration!


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      There are no right or wrong ways to do a notebook page. YOur last one, I loved your headings ciricled and important parts to remember noted underneath! I appreciate your participation. Most were too busy to join which I understand. It was a summer to unplug and rest. So glad you took time to read and think with me!


  2. franmcveigh says:

    Your image! Inspirational!
    My first response to WAR remains: “Is this right?” Too many notes. Too few notes. And getting stuck in the weeds of minutia.
    Thanks so much for sharing and the encouragement to “steal”!


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      I appreciate your honesty in questioning how to do it. I believe there is no right or wrong way. Just think and add that thinking in some way to the page. I do hope you’ll steal or join in next summer!


  3. Heather Morris says:

    Thank you for sharing your pages. I have a plan to do this with poetry, but I have to say it is intimidating to me as I am always wondering how to do it right. Erika told me about your book club, and I would love to join in next year.


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      I know what you mean about the blank page. It helped me to just add to the page and cross out when I made a mistake and just be ok with that. I do think my students liked it when they saw I wasn’t perfect. It is just my thinking! I like your idea of giving it a try with poetry. I may “steal” that idea!!


  4. margaretsmn says:

    I have let other things occupy my time this summer. I’m sorry I didn’t fully participate in your book club, but I love the idea of it.


  5. Fran McCrackin says:

    I watched Cory Booker and loved how you opened with his pithy advice- you are right, it makes this community smile. And you remind us in your piece that writing encompasses more than we first think- journal pages, writing about reading, sharing pallets… You should celebrate your consistency, in the TWT challenge, in your summer book clubs (yay, third year- good on you!) In your research group, and more. And of course you are a loyal and trustworthy family member and friend, partly through your consistency. I notice “playing cards with Nana” in your hand- yes,I know your hands have been consistently helpful to her in many ways, especially this summer. I also noted the reminder to text your daughters frequently to stay connected- a reminder I take to heart as well.


  6. Fran Haley says:

    So much encouragement here, Sally! Booker’s advice, lol – he’s right, of course. Your virtual book club is an inspiration and I absolutely love the reflection in your notebook. Something deep to ponder, indeed, what “these hands will do.” Good to have kids – and non-kids – reflect on this more often…


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