Ask yourself, “As an adult, what do you do as a reader?” The answer to this question should guide our teaching of reading with our students. As adults, we read for pleasure, we read for information, and we read to keep up with current events. Rarely do we read a book because another adult told us we had to. We may read a book that has been recommended to us or because we heard people talking about it and decide we might be interested as well. How can we shake up our teaching practice so that our students will become engaged in reading and learn to enjoy it?
Watch the video clip below to see what students think about assigned reading.
How do we motivate students to read? It seems kind of simple after viewing the above clip. We motivate students by honoring and valuing what they choose to read. We know students who read more will do better and it stands to reason that we can get students to read more by allowing them to choose what they want to read. Think about a P.E. class. You wouldn’t walk in and see the students filling in a Venn diagram comparing basketball to baseball. Instead you would see them playing basketball or baseball. Hmmm…I say let’s consider changing what we expect students to do under the guys of “reading.” Let’s allow students to read and talk about their reading. Let’s allow students to have the power of choosing their reading materials. Then possibly we may have students that enjoy and want to read.