Educator Allie Thrower found her 5th-grade class noted they read for the same number of minutes every night, she took it as a sign they didn’t enjoy the activity so much as considered it a task, detailing for Eduoptia how she then began to look for ways to build more excitement around reading so students would look forward to it.
She chose to pair students, calling them “accountability partners” anc encouraging them to discuss the books they were reading, what they liked, what they didn’t, and even what they found resonated with them in the text.
The shift in how Thrower approached reading helped at least one student, she said, who began to expand her comfort level with what titles she selected as she developed into a more confident reader.
Educators are always looking for ways to encourage students to pick up a book and read. When students develop a love of reading, and are willing — and even excited — to pick up a book on their own, the benefits can be extensive. Among them? Higher scores and grades overall, as a 2016 study from The Journal of Multidisciplinary Graduate Research found.
While teachers may assign reading logs as a way to track progress, however, this practice can transform what should be pleasurable into a chore, having a long-term impact on the enjoyment of learning in general. The practice is certainly helpful in goal-setting, but it can cause some harm when it comes to encouraging students to read.
Instead, there are other methods educators can adopt to encourage students to pick up a book while removing the homework aspect of the request. Classroom teachers could try reading aloud exercises, where they or even students take turns reading a passage. This has been found to encourage critical thinking skills among readers. Another option is to suggest students read at home — and not because a story or selection has been assigned for school work, with reading with parents particularly beneficial for young students.