Reading is no fun? whaaaat?
As a pleasure reader myself, it’s a killer when I hear a student say, “I don’t like to read.” I’m not talking about reading required in school subjects, I’m talking about reading for pleasure; curl up with a good book and be whisked away to some other place and time. Too many students see reading as a chore, to be put off as long as possible. What’s a teacher/reader to do?
Here are some things that are working with my students…
try it, you’ll like it!
I looked over my daily schedule and I found two days where I could carve out about 15-20 minutes for my students to do some independent reading. I wrote the times onto my schedule posted on the board daily. For me, out of sight, out of mind, so seeing “independent reading” in the schedule, helped me make it happen. I made no requirements or demands about what my students could read. I let them make their own choices.
Leave it to the students!
During morning meetings, several of my students, who do read for pleasure, began to share books they were reading. Hearing from other readers, my more reluctant readers began to try books their friends were reading. One author, Margaret Peterson Haddix, really caught their attention with her “Shadow Children” series and the excitement from the students about how good the stories were, sent my reluctant readers flying to the library! Score!!!
Feed them and they will come
My school has signed up for the Book It! program sponsored by Pizza Hut. When students read a certain number of books, they are “rewarded” with a certificate for a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. A bribe? YES!!!! The program comes with a certificate book that the teacher fills out for the student who has met the agreed upon goal for the month. By the way, I have zero, nada, no affiliation with Book It! Another score!
technology calls!!! Let’s answer!
My school librarian turned me on to an online library that is free for teachers and students! It’s Epic books and you can find it at http://www.getepic.com. It will walk you through the set up.
I created a class within the library, and gave the class code to the students and they were fired up! Epic is just like your local library, but in this case, the books are at the finger tips of my students on their chromebooks! While it is a subscription website for parents, my students can read for free when connected to our school’s WIFI! Many of my students reach for their chromebooks and Epic when their work is done. There are many audible books for struggling readers, too! The Goosebumps series is really popular and it’s an audible series that many of my students are flying through!
So there you go! I’m not saying these ideas will do it for all your “I don’t like to read,” students, but as Einstein said, “When you do the same thing over and over, expecting different results…” well, you know the end of that quote!
I’m always looking for ways to encourage my students to find pleasure in reading independently, so please share what you find is working in your classroom!