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Encouraging students to enjoy reading
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2015 11:22 AM

Of the major areas Common Core State Standards testing focuses on, reading is a major one that kids aren't always interested in. Learning new words can be scary, and speaking them aloud in class may even be a nightmare to some students. There are ways teachers can encourage students to enjoy reading, helping them to learn faster and care about what they're working on. Here are a few to try in your classroom:

Pick fun books
Don't just head to the bookstore and pick whatever classics are available. Learn what your class is excited about and then try to teach reading using books that they'd enjoy. Go for tomes about dinosaurs and cavemen or butterflies - whatever your students are into. They'll be more inclined to read when they care about the books characters and storyline.

Provide reading options
You've likely learned that children love having options. When they have been told to do something, they are less likely to enjoy it than if they had a choice and got to pick their own preference. This is true when it comes to reading, too. One way to use this to your advantage is to let the class collectively choose the next book. Pick out a group of options that you'd like the students to read throughout the semester. Present them all to your class and have the students vote on which one to tackle first. Once you've finished that volume, bring up the books you haven't read yet and do another poll to decide the second book to read. Your students will likely be more enthusiastic when they have some power over what comes next. 

Try small groups
Think back to when you were starting to read. What was the scariest part about learning this new skill? Many kids get very nervous about reading out loud. They are worried they'll fumble in front of the class and embarrass themselves. Lessen the chances of this happening by having your students read together in small groups. This way, when students mispronounce a word or need assistance with a term they've never encountered, they are only working with a few other students, not the entire class. Try to pair up kids who are doing well in reading with those who aren't as sure. The duo can work together to build one another's confidence, therefore making reading a more enjoyable activity.




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