There are literally millions of texts that are there for the reading, right at your fingertips. Not so with all other forms of art! To see the Mona Lisa, you must travel to Paris and pay the entry fee into the Louvre. To see the Taj Mahal, you must make your way to India, pay your entrance, and step only where allowed to tread. And whether Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, or The Wiggles, that concert is going to cost you. But to read the works of the masters through time and the present day? Nothing.
Have you ever wondered why some kids become voracious readers and others avoid reading like it’s a laundry basket full of stinky socks? We asked top literacy experts around the country what they feel is the key to building a love of reading in students. Here is what they had to say.
Fiction or nonfiction? Often, teachers view these two types of texts as separate and distinct, with little overlap in purpose or instruction. However, pairing fiction and nonfiction texts together in instruction can have many beneficial effects. While some students are drawn to fiction, others are naturally attracted to nonfiction. Pairing fiction and nonfiction texts help to engage both types of students, while also broadening their vocabulary and knowledge about a common topic.
Do you notice that students are starting to glaze over each time you read science, social studies, or even math text in class? Try the tips below to pump up the volume, and make content-area reading manageable and fun.
Do you ever feel like you do too much talking in the classroom? If you do, well then, you probably are! It is definitely time to turn control over to the students. Let your students lead the discussion. Yes, it is our job, as teachers, to make sure the class is focused on the topic. But, we can absolutely let the students do the majority of the talking.
With many of today’s standards calling the use of HOTS, or higher order thinking skills, it can feel really overwhelming at times. So, this may seem a bit oversimplified at first, but I have found it extremely valuable in giving students a concrete way to break down their thinking. In fact, even the most able students have responded to this strategy with, “Well, I already knew the answer, but this helped me see how I got there.” Cool, right?!