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Friday, January 11, 2013

The number one book teachers need to read

Guess how much I'm getting paid to write this post?  Nothing.  Zilch.
The author doesn't have a clue who I am and no one gave me the book for free.  I bought the book (full price) on my own.  If you go buy the book I get nothing.  This is purely my excitement and my shouting from the rooftops.

Teachers, aides, future teachers, preschool directors, principals, superintendents, librarians, school librarians and home-school parents....you all need to read this book.  If we want to bring forth a generation of kids who can and do read, here's where to start.
Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers, Steven Layne

He had me laughing out loud, imagining him getting on a plane reading a copy of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."

And then he got me fired up.  Most kids in our country can read, the problem is that they do not LIKE to.

I've got 3 takeaways from this that I'll share with you, and then you have to go get the book for yourself.
  • Book Chats
  • First Read Club
  • Reading Lounge
Book Chats
Ever read something you just couldn't wait to tell someone about?  Bring that enthusiasm to the classroom/library/home.  Get up and talk about how fantastic you thought "Because of Winn Dixie" was and what surprised you and what made you laugh.  Suddenly they'll all want to go check out "Because of Winn Dixie."  Layne gives greater detail and a formula in the book for how to do a Book Chat most effectively.
steven layne, teacher's hot pick book, reading, book display, reluctant reader
great display from another Steven Layne fan!


First Read Club
Oh man, if my teacher had done a club like this in school, I would have been even more in love with reading!  He suggests that the librarian or teacher allow children to join a "First Read" club.  When you get in a few new books, offer them up to individuals in the club to read.  If they choose to read it, they get to sign a label for the inside cover that says "This book was First Read by___"
I'm telling you, even the most reluctant readers will eat this up!

Reading Lounge
Steven Layne gets crazy here.  Imagine going to your administration and saying you need an entire room.  After they get done laughing at you, they'll tell you no.  Keep asking.
reading lounge, school reading area, steven layne reading lounge
love this lounge in a school...found at this link
Layne was able to implement a Reading Lounge in one school...where kids could take their books and relax in COMFORTABLE chairs to do their reading or be read to.  It gives them a space to enjoy being with books.  Teachers can sign up for times to take in their whole class for reading instruction or a read-a-loud.  A lounge is a long shot for most of us, but the idea is worth entertaining and trying to get a group together to advocate for.  You never know, with a little PTO money and some luck, it just may work out!

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Those were my three favorite ideas in the book, but you've got to go get it for yourself and read it.  The way he talks about reading at the grade level you teach and being able to recommend books to them, doing reading logs, the book chats, it is all GENIUS and needs to be implemented in our schools ASAP.

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