Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Igniting a Passion for Reading

Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime ReadersTitle: Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers
Author: Steven L. Layne  
Publication Date: 2009  
Genre/Format: Reading-Nonfiction/Professional Book
Summary: Layne offers ideas, strategies, and personal anecdotes about fostering a love of reading in students.  Oftentimes, teachers focus on teaching the skill of reading but overlook the importance of teaching students the motivation and desire to develop a love of reading.  
What I Think: I came to this realization myself this past school year and it was awesome to read about someone else proclaiming how important this is.  I loved being able to hear Layne's own passion for reading and teaching come through in this book.  I like reading professional books about reading but it is so much more enjoyable to read when you can truly hear the author's voice just emanating from the pages.  Layne works for a university very near to the district I teach in so I'm going to see if I can hear him speak.  I love his ideas and can't wait to try some of them next year - especially the "status of the class"!!!
Snatch of Text: Here are some quotes that I marked while reading:
"It's not necessarily that students can't read, it's that many of them don't.  People, both children and adults, who have the ability but not the desire to read are termed aliterates (Mikulecky, 1979), and they should be a source of concern for a nation that wants 'no child left behind.'  The age-old concern of why Johnny can't read needs to change with the times.  A new question, Why won't Johnny read, even if he can? needs some of our serious and undivided attention." p.6
"...I've always looked at it this way: I may not reach everybody, but every time I reach somebody, I'm doing more than I would be doing if I were doing nothing." p.23
"I have become a reader hopelessly addicted to books written for children and young adults, and there's no going back.  There's no self-help group either.  I'm not so sure it's the books that I'm addicted to really (though they are tremendous and getting better all the time); I think it's actually what has happened again and again when I've put the right book in the hands of the right reader, or when I've known just the right book to recommend to a student who's convinced there's nothing she'd like to read.  When I can do that, kids read; moreover, I feel like I am what I say I am - a teacher." p. 38
"At no point in my teacher training nor at multiple levels of higher education had a learned person ever said, 'Read books written for the age group you teach and then tell the kids about the books.'  In other words, nobody ever told me to deliver short (five- to eight-minute) commercials for books to my students.  No one told me (or taught me) to deliver book chats.  and though it may sound ridiculous, I simply never thought to do it either.  I read a lot of great books aloud to my classes for the first eight years of my career, but I never told my students about great books they might enjoy. 
To further embarrass myself, I admit that during these early years of my career I was always in the front row at a conference or seminar where a speaker was talking about great new books for kids.  I loved to listen to book chats, so I am dumbstruck looking back and wondering how it never crossed my mind that my students would love to hear someone talk about books, too." p. 40-41
Read With: The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
Topics Covered: Reading, Book Talks, Just-Right Books, Genres
Translated to Spanish: No

4 comments:

  1. I just bought this a couple of months ago and have not yet started to read it. I am waiting for a sunny summer afternoon where I can just lounge outside and get inspired. Thanks for the preview! And, I loved The Book Whisperer.

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  2. I'll have to check this one out. Curious about the "status of the class"!

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  3. I've heard great things about Layne's book--thanks so much for the detailed review. I especially like this quote:
    >>At no point in my teacher training nor at multiple levels of higher education had a learned person ever said, 'Read books written for the age group you teach and then tell the kids about the books.' In other words, nobody ever told me to deliver short (five- to eight-minute) commercials for books to my students. <<
    It does seem obvious, yet I can see how some teachers wouldn't think of it. I not only share titles with students, I read excerpts as examples when I'm teaching. So I love the premise of your blog!
    Carmela
    TeachingAuthors

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  4. Jen,
    My husband is a sixth grade reading teacher, and we were at a local minor league game the other night getting our children fingerprinted for free. :) The woman who took our kids' pictures was terrific with them, which fact led to our discovery that she is also a middle school reading teacher (in DC). A 15-minute conversation ensued about igniting a passion for reading in students. This teacher's passion was SO palpable -- it's no wonder it's contagious. Book suggestions were also exchanged. I took some home, myself.

    This blog is such a great idea! I know my husband teaches the same books each year per the curriculum, and many of these were published several decades ago. YAY for an open exchange of ideas! Thank you!

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