Jumpstart students’ enthusiasm for reading with some great ideas from Really Good Teachers. Their tips and tricks focus on everything from guest readers to encouraging students’ senses of adventure. If your students are struggling to maintain a great attitude toward reading, try one the ideas below to help tap into their natural desire to hear and read a good story.
Make Reading in the Classroom Fun!
Idea by Julie, a 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher, from Chicago, IL.
Help children get motivated to read books by setting time aside for them to choose books they may enjoy reading. I call this R.A.B.B.I.T time. I have a picture posted of a rabbit listing the meaning of the acronym (Read A Book Because It’s Terrific). When it is time, I pull out the Rabbit puppet that speaks to the children about reading and choosing books. The children are tickled with the silly rabbit voice and they are eager to read each time.
Idea by Mari, a 1st Grade Teacher, from Waukesha, WI.
Every Friday before lunch, a Mystery Reader arrives in our class, to the delight of curious children wondering how it all came to be. The reader self-selects one or two books from home to bring along. The “mystery” involves sending a letter and sign-up sheet home at the beginning of the school year with a list of available dates the mystery reader will come to school and read to the class. I encourage parents, grandparents, friends, or relatives of my students to sign up to be a mystery reader. In turn, I type up a schedule and secretly send it home. I get so many offers I have to find alternate times, and the kids light up to see a relative surprise them by showing up in our class to read. The relatives are delighted to be visitors in our first grade class. I also take a picture of each reader with the related student holding the books they read. We make a class “traveling” book. Best of all, students connect the positive experience to the joy of reading.
Really Good Reading Strategies
Idea by Sandra, a 1st Grade Teacher, in Yorba Linda, CA.
I play “Beat the Teacher” during Guided Reading to improve my students’ ability to use a variety of good reading strategies (i.e.,look at the pictures, chunk it, get your mouth ready to say the sounds, skip it, reread, think — Does it make sense?). If they make a mistake while they’re reading, but fix it, they get a tally mark. If they don’t, I get one. I keep track of the points on a scratch piece of paper as they read. Once they have finished reading the book or passage, we count the points. If they earn more points than I do, they receive a sticker. If not, I encourage them and tell them they will have another chance the following day. They can’t wait to read to me again!
How do you motivate your readers? Share your ideas below or on the Really Good Teachers Forums!