As a librarian, I love to read. I know that not everyone shares my enthusiasm, so here are a few simple strategies you can use in your own classroom to encourage students to read.
1. Display what you are currently reading.
Students need a guide when it comes to reading. If you display what you are reading with a simple sign on your classroom door or at your desk; students will more than likely ask about it. It’s fine if you only read magazines or adult books, just by demonstrating your skill of reading, students will be nudged to read as well.
2. Visit the library as a class.
Sometimes students just will not go to the library without being brought there. Use 10 minutes of class time to take the class to the library to check out books. If you do not have time, send a few at time after a test or class assignment.
3. Dedicate time for them to just read.
You do not have to have a DEAR Day every week, but when there is down time during class or if other students need a refresher on a certain subject, give other students time to pull out their books and read. Even if it is the last 15 minutes of class, just do it!
4. Compete in a reading race.
Sometimes a little competition can be good for the students. Challenge your class for the semester to see who can read the most books, and give them a reward at the end. If teachers do not want to keep track of the amount of books a student has read that year, connect with your school librarian. Most checking out systems keep track of books students have read for the year.
5. Play a pre-reading game.
This is moreso for the younger students, but before you start reading a book with them, have them guess what it will be about by using the cover and other illustrations. The more outrageous the idea, the better because it will have them more involved with the text when it is read to them, or they read it themselves.
Choose to do one or all five, but reading is an amazing skill to have throughout life. Instilling it in our students today will only benefit them.
Happy reading! :)