Now that the school year is underway for pretty much everyone, let's talk about reluctant readers. I don't think I've ever had a class without a few kids who just don't like to read.
Why is that? It's often because reading is hard for those students, so they just avoid it.
Here are a few quick ways you can help those get those kids to engage with books:
- Let them choose - That means keeping a wide array of reading materials in your classroom or home and let the child pick whatever he wants to read. Whether it's a comic book, magazine, or book of riddles - it's all reading!
- Don't turn it into a chore - Assigning a certain number of pages or minutes per day tells students that reading isn't for fun or pleasure, but a task to get through.
- Let them listen - For some kids, reading is exhausting. Lighten the load a little and allow them to listen to audio books while they follow along. They are still being exposed to literature and new vocabulary and developing comprehension. As those skills grow, so will their willingness to read independently.
- Keep reading aloud - One of the best ways to get reluctant readers to enjoy a book is to read it to them. Make the characters come alive. Keep the plot moving but leave them hanging at the suspenseful parts.
- Don't give up on picture books - A lot of kids act like picture books are for babies but secretly love them. Having lots of pictures help lower level readers understand the text and picture books often have much more complex storylines that easy chapter books.
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