I was reading a research study by Gary Moser and Timothy Morrison entitled, “Increasing Students’ Achievement and Interest in Reading,” and came across the term “alitearcy.” Aliteracy refers to a person with the ability to read but lacks the motivation—WOW! This definition described half of our struggling readers!
Anderson, Heibert, Scott and Wilkinson (1985) reported of fifth graders, “50% of the children read books for an average of four minutes per day or less, 30% read two minutes per day or less and fully 10% never reported reading any book on any day. For the majority of the children, reading from books occupied 1% of their free time or less.” Considering these statistics were twenty years ago, students now have smartphones, Ipods, computers and gadgets that increase apathy towards reading. Clary (1991) points out,” hesitant readers are not just the poor readers but include many capable readers,” which is a reminder that just because students are struggling does not mean they are not capable—just not motivated!
Knowing these statistics, I am challenging each of you to find seven to ten minutes to incorporate intentional increased reading time for students. Before you say—“I DON’T HAVE TIME!” Look at this chart from Scientific Learning (2008): http://www.scilearn.com/sites/default/files/imported/alldocs/rsrch/30388RAExtra10min.pdf
How can we NOT increase the motivation and time for students to read?
How about starting by getting students talking and excited about what they are reading! Don’t we love to tell our friends and family about movies or television shows we are “into?” Maybe we can use that type of excitement to get kids “into” books.
Ideas to try:
- Let students create book covers when they finish a book and showcase these on a bulletin board. Try this one from Read Write Think: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/bookcover/
- Weekly Book Talks by teacher and students.
- Take 10 minutes at the end of the week or on a rainy day and let students pair up and share about the book they are reading to someone else.
- Let students “Twitter” about their book choices. Use this site to help: http://www.classtools.net/twister/
- Create a Blog and let students share about books or respond to a question and answering from their book’s perspective
- Allow students to create a commercial for radio or television to promote their book. Book Trailers are also a great way to get kids excited about reading a book. You can create book trailers easily with animoto: https://animoto.com/blog/education/book-trailer-videos/
What do you do in your classroom to make reading fun? Share an idea with your colleagues!