For my second professional development book, I picked another by Steven Layne. It is called Igniting A Passion For Reading.After seeing Steven Layne at NCTE, it is easy to believe that he could ignite a passion for reading in almost anyone. He is a wonderful model of how we should be reading to our students in our classrooms during read alouds (which we should all be doing no matter the age group.)
Steven starts the book with a touching story about a girl in the 5th grade that was in love with books because it was an escape from her not so great home life.
Chapter 2 is titled: Coaches Who Know Their Players Win More Games: Igniting a Passion by Knowing Your Students.
Layne Points out how obvious it is that if we want to get our students interested in reading, we need to know what they are interested in. No child hates reading, they just haven’t been presented with a book that interests them enough. This reminded me of my brother’s second grade teacher. Caleb kept reading book after book after book about football and she wanted him to try to expand his horizons, so she picked a book (not about football) and asked him to read it. After two weeks, he was only on page 10. She then thought to herself, “Why do I care what he is reading about as long as he is reading?” She let him read all the football books he wanted after that. *round of applause*
Anyway, Layne continues on about how you can get to know your students without your students know that you are being nosy. He also gives examples of short questionnaires you can give students to prompt information out of them.
Having students self-asses where they think they are as a reader is important as well, that way the student is aware of their attitude toward reading and the teacher can be as well.
Chapter 3 is all about how we as teachers might as well accept that we will be reading children’s lit and YA lit for the remainder of our teaching career. How can we recommend books to students if we haven’t read them? Layne also talks about how he finds and promotes books to students to get them interested in reading them.
Chapter 4 talks about how you can ignite a passion for reading by reading aloud! I am still geeking out about how AMAZING it was to hear STEVEN LAYNE read aloud to us at NCTE. If we read aloud to our students the way that Steven Layne instructs us to (blog post about reading aloud to come), all of our students will want to read.
Chapter 5 is about modeling to our students by reading with them. I liked his reading log section in this chapter. When I was in elementary school and doing AR, they made us log how many pages we read each night (having to have had at least 10, gag) and I HATED IT. and my parents had to sign it or you had to stay in for recess. It was dumb. Anyway, Layne has his students write down what book they read and a rating for the book. This seems much more effective and gives the students some power over what they are reading.
Chapter 6 is about book discussions, which are very important to literate lives. Layne uses short worksheets to get students writing about the books that they read with short prompting questions. He puts book chats in the hands of the students.
Chapter 7 was about having a reading lounge! Which I loved. No one wants to read at a desk uncomfortably. When i am reading at home, I am curled up somewhere comfortable to that I can get in the mood to read so why can’t we do that at school? Well Layne tells you exactly how to do that in this chapter.
(I really feel like I am rambling at this point and props to anyone who is still reading but there are only a few chapters left in the book and I will keep it short and sweet I promise)
Chapter 8: Celebrating books – favorite idea: Golden Recommendation Shelf – pretty self explanatory but basically you put your highest recommendations on this shelf for your students to read
Also liked Picture Books of the Month idea.
Chapter 9: Author’s Visits – again pretty self explanatory and a marvelous idea. Layne tells you the exact steps you need to follow in order to set up an author visit, including warning you that the price will be hefty, hefty, hefty and that you will have to make a lot of arrangements and plans for this to work.
And finally, Chapter 10 is about having a quarterly plan. Basically, he tells you how to set up reading lesson plans!!
In conclusion, I loved this book, its a great read and I laughed all the way through it! Steven Layne has such wonderful voice in his writing and it is truly a pleasure to read these books!