How to make your students read more
Making your students read is a piece of cake – but inspiring them to actually enjoy it is an altogether different matter. Research studies have shown that if early experiences with reading aren’t positive, children are less likely to choose books as their preferred form of entertainment once they become adults. Home environment plays an important role as well, but it’s predominantly at school that pupils enter the culture of reading. Helping your students develop their love of reading is easier than you’d suspect. Here are some tips on how to foster a lifelong love of reading in your students.
Provide a reading space
Turn a space in your classroom into a reading corner that will be perfect for some individual reading time. You can either purchase a play tent or make a small clubhouse out of a big box. Place a comfortable chair inside and add a sign saying ‘Shhhh, someone’s reading!’ to hang outside.
Children love to play games and nothing motivates them more than a challenge. Create a bulletin board and hang it in a visible place in your classroom. You’ll use it to reward kids for reading books on their own. Take a photo of each child and pin them to the board – this is where you’ll be using stickers as rewards. Help your pupils make their reading logs, check them once a week and award them with stickers that correspond to the number of books they’ve read.
Organize a book exchange
By hosting a book exchange with another class or school, you’ll be encouraging children to share the things they like in books. Together with your pupils, select the books for exchange, meet with the other class and allow children to say what they think about the books about to be exchanged. Once your pupils read the books offered by other children, set up another meeting and divide them into groups to discuss the new books they’ve just read.
Serialize a story
When reading a story aloud, it’s a good idea to make it more interesting by stopping at cliffhangers. This will make your pupils more engaged with the story – they’ll be dying to know what happens next!
Spice up your reading
You can add a touch of creativity to your reading time by featuring sounds to enrich your story. You can even turn this activity into a game – ask groups of students to make a particular sounds when they hear a specific word. This will make them more engaged with the story and improve their comprehension, as well as keeping them entertained.
Music for individual reading
Play some soft jazz or classical music in the background during your next individual reading session. Avoid anything with lyrics, as this could act as a distraction. Soothing background music will help children who are auditory learners to be more engaged with the activity. Additionally, you’ll create a nice mood in your classroom, which other pupils will enjoy as well.
Connect reading to other activities
Whenever a pupil finishes a book, you could ask them to create a book cover and then post it on your bulletin board for the class to see. This will make books more attractive and personalized to other pupils, who’ll then feel more motivated to read them on their own.
Most importantly, make sure pupils receive positive reinforcement both from teachers and from their parents. Recalling great memories associated with reading is the first step to developing a love for books that will last a lifetime.
Kelly Smith is a dedicated tutor and writer. Currently, she develops her passion at Career FAQ’S , one of the leading providers of career and educational resources in Australia, where she provides career advice for students and job seekers.