Lately, I have been listening to the other side of my brain. My math-minded brain is getting a much workout lately because I have had the pleasure of learning more about how Literacy is taught in our district and have started to enjoy the process. I also have been privileged enough to partake in a book study at my school, with teachers and the Literacy Coach, based on the book Igniting a Passion for Reading by Steven Layne. I also have had the oppourtunity to attend a workshop where Steven Layne was the presenter. These opportunities have ignighted a passion in me that I knew was there but never really had the chance to exercise.
When I was a kid, I loved to read. There was not a time when you would find me without a book in my hand. I remember many vacations where I would sit in the car and read or where I would be lying on the pontoon boat in Michigan reading a book. However, as the years passed on, I just stopped reading for pure enjoyment. I guess I just did not have the time. It wasn’t until many years after I graduated college that I picked up a book for enjoyment. I really started reading again so that I could participate in a book club with friends from work (I use book club loosely because really it was a reason to get out of the house and have a few drinks with friends. But I really did read the books we chose!)
After starting the book study at school, I have found time to read for enjoyment. I also have found that I truly enjoy young adult fiction, especially the ones that my junior high students read. Additionally, I decided after the last session of my book study that I was going to try and start to ignite a passion in my students. Among the many ideas suggested in the book, I have decided to create a small space just outside my office to showcase a book that I am currently reading (one that can be read by students, of course).
This area is called Mrs. Andruch’s Hot Reads and will be an ever changing display. I also will have a sign-up sheet for students that want to borrow the book when I am finished. Students have stopped by my display yesterday and today and made a few comments about the book I have chosen. There are even a few kids that are ready to borrow the book immediately after I am done reading. Here’s to hoping this display ignites a passion in a few of the lives of my students.
I just hope the math-minded side of my brain is not getting to jealous! Maybe I will go practice a problem or two – better yet, I will go read a few chapters, instead!