Secrets to Get Kids Reading

get kids readingGuest post by Kathryn Starke
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As parents and teachers, we have to get creative to motivate children to enjoy reading. We are competing with ipads, smart phones, and the wii among other games and electronics. Once you have hooked a child, he or she becomes a lifelong reader and learner.

  • I suggest creating special places for children to read.
  • I have used pillows, beanbags, and even a wooden boat in the classroom.
  • At home, you can create a reading space in a playroom, a sitting area by the window, or a playhouse.
  • Provide a large variety of reading material for children to select from, including picture books, chapter books, magazines, and comic books.
  •  I conduct an interview with each student individually to find out his or her interests (ex: sports, animals, an athlete) and provide books related to this topic.
  • Give the child a role to play while reading.
  • I am the chief investigator, and my students are the reading detectives. I give them magnifying glasses and a tiny notebook for them to write down character names, unknown words, and clues as they are reading. Then we share out our discoveries with peers to increase our literal and inferential comprehension.
  • Party City always inspires me with ideas for sparking reading; most recently, I was hooked on the idea of superheroes, and so were the boys in my small group. They all got to wear a superhero mask while they “fought” through the challenging sounds and “saved the day” by making and confirming predictions and answering questions.

Finally, I want all children to enjoy reading and feel comfortable reading, so each day before they go home, I give them a job.

  • I tell them to choose a book to take home and to read to Mom, Dad, Grandma, Baby Brother or Sister, the dog, cat, fish, or favorite stuffed animal and take note of their reaction when you’re reading.
  • My students think it’s hilarious that I suggest they read to the family dog, but they attempt to do it and come back the next day and say things like, “Sugar listened until page 4, which is the part when the characters meet for the first time.”
  •  I know that my students read last night for a period of time and are truly enjoying and understanding their reading material and simply want to share their love of reading with someone else.

They will continue to read and explore a variety of texts throughout childhood and adulthood.

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