Bahaha!!! Funniest professional book I’ve ever read and also one of the most profound! Steven Layne pounds home the importance of read aloud in EVERY classroom k-college. The act of reading aloud is heavily research-based but sadly an unpracticed or at best sporadically practiced form of instruction. Many educators are opting to pelt their students with more test prep than is humanely conceivable. Worksheet after worksheet after worksheet, supplies our adults of tomorrow with so many more memorable characters that Ivan, Dorothy, Charlotte, Poppy, or Frindle ever could. It is mind-boggling how much impact students have being peppered with an endless mound of unrelated worksheets. Mind numbing, indeed!
I have been blessed with two rock stars of read-aloud. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Hager, would stand at the overhead and draw any unfamiliar words we encountered during our beloved read-aloud time, talk about an unscripted lesson in visualization! Professor Betty Watson was an amazing artist of reading aloud. She held the entire class of 20+ year olds in the palm of her hand. We laughed with her and cried with her and were ‘encouraged’ to read a MOUNTAIN of books from all different genre (causing many groans from yours truly). She stretched us all as readers and soon to be teachers and cramped our social lives a bit doing all her assigned reading,LOL! We left Harding University with a boatload of knowledge about all kinds of books and able to match any reader with something to entice their interests. These two rock stars have imprinted their love of literacy on all who entered their circles. I am blessed to have been one of the many they influenced.
Colleges should have classes not only on Children’s Literature but also on the art of reading aloud. It isn’t something teachers should have an option, “To read-aloud or not to read-aloud” does not have the child’s best interest at heart.