Tips and tools from an elementary school Literacy Coach
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Igniting a Passion for Reading: Book Study chapters five and six
This is truly embarrassing, but I really need to wrap up posting about our book study. We finished back in March (oh, goodness, that was a long time ago) but it seems that this is the first time I've had the energy and the minutes to share what we talked about! If you've been following these posts, I do apologize and I'm thankful to you!
My Modeling Career: Igniting a Passion by Reading with Students
In teaching, you very quickly learn that, when you want students to do something - anything - no matter how simple or small, you MUST model it. Whether it's how to turn in their homework or how to respond to a short-answer question, you have to show them how it's done. In this chapter, Layne explains how that is true with the love of reading.
It makes perfect sense. Do you want them to be readers? Then be a reader... and show them that you are.
A great strategy from this chapter is the "Hot Read". It's easier than it sounds. You choose a book at an appropriate level for your class. Place it in a special spot with a little sign that says, "Ms. So-and-so's HOT READ!" Model reading it for a few minutes during the day, and putting it in your bag to read at home that evening. After a few days, kids will start to request your "hot read". What a great, SNEAKY way to get kids excited about a book!
One important point Layne makes several times throughout this chapter (and the rest of the book) is how important it is for kids to know the authors of the books they read. If they know which authors they enjoy, they can find more books they enjoy. If they don't, they're swimming through a series of books without any sense of what they love.
Can We Talk? Igniting a Passion Through Book Discussions
In this chapter, Layne discusses an issue that I've had in my own classroom. How to have meaningful book discussions without using roles that become limiting and awkward. I know I've used these roles in my own classroom - the "illuminator" and the "graphic artist," having each student assume a specific role and complete a mundane task in order to participate in a book discussion. But if you think about great discussions adults have with each other about books, they're more authentic than that. They include things like this:
* Retelling important pieces to clarify to the listener
* Reacting to a character's choices or traits
* Questioning what will happen next
* Describing emotions you felt when certain events happened
Instead of having students complete tasks, why don't we model effective dialogue about books and then provide them with a rubric of ideas to communicate with their groups?