Monday, May 28, 2012

Strategies for turning reluctant, bored or advanced readers into avid readers

Part one: Definitions
What is a reluctant reader?

A reluctant reader is a child who reads only when he/she wants to. The child is smart, but doesn’t read well. They’ve missed instructions, perhaps because they’re not interested in reading. They alliterate well, but don’t enjoy reading.

Why do some children become reluctant readers?
Children who have learning problems may find reading hard to do. They don’t see it important. Perhaps their parents don’t read on a regular basis. If they don’t see their parents reading, they’re not going to read.

How can you help the reluctant reader?
Test. Get skilled people to read to them. Let the child see their parents read. Let them read non-fiction, on a topic that they’re interested in. Use formula books to determine their reading level.

What is a bored reader?
A bored reader is tired of reading. They can read, but they are not interested in what is available. They may need to try reading something age appropriate.

Why do some children become bored readers?
There isn’t enough material available to them to keep them interested in reading.

How can you help the bored reader?
Suggest new titles, new material.

What is an advanced reader?
An advanced reader reads above their grade level. They may be gifted students.

How can you assist the advanced reader?
Encourage them to read about gifted and different people, as well as different cultures.

Part two: how can you encourage reading?
The School environment: in your library
How can you encourage students to read?
  • Set up displays on new books or themes
  • Book talk
  • Storytelling
  • Fiction about different grades (e.g. reading about older students)
  • Readers’ advisory
  • Newspapers/magazines
The School environment: in the classroom
How can you assist the classroom teacher?
  • Encourage teachers to have a classroom library
  • Classroom library should have materials relevant to classes
  • Pair up younger students with older students as reading buddies
  • Story logs
  • Put up all class work without markings
What does a school that values, encourages and supports reading look, sound and feel like?
The school will have displays, their library will hold readers, there will be encouraging posters around, places for people to specifically read in. The school will also hold book fairs.

Do you know what this acronym – DEAR – stands for?
Drop Everything And Read – from I love to read month. It applies to everyone!

The Home environment
What advice do you provide to parents who want to encourage their children to read?
  • Turn televisions off
  • Let children see parents read
  • Whole family reading time
  • Play word related games
  • Go to the public library and let children pick their own books to read
  • Avoid critical remarks
  • Rewards
  • Don’t use reading as a punishment
  • Have a small home use reference library
Beyond Harry Potter: how to encourage reading
One of the children in your school who was previously a reluctant reader got hooked on the Harry Potter books. Now that he/she has finished reading all the books, he/she is eager to read more. You know that there is potential for turning this child into an avid reader: how can you help him/her choose appropriate books?
  • Move onto other fantasy books
  • Move into more school/relationship/realistic/family book
  • Figure out what aspect of the book they enjoyed reading, and find similar material


max said...

I grew up hating to read and now write adventures & mysteries for readers 8 and up.

Unknown said...

Great post. I'm an author of children's books, both paperbacks & eBooks. My writer friends tell me to change genres as Y/A books sell better. I don't because I love writing for children and I'm thrilled when a reluctant reader becomes a fan and then starts reading other books similar to mine. It's a much better feeling than earning an extra dollar or two to me because I was a slow learner at school. I left at fourteen and still unable to write properly, though I could always read.