Kids that can read but dont…

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Every parent that I have met thus far, wants the best for their child. Parents want their children to succeed. It has been my experience that even though parents want to encourage their kids to read, some just choose not too and some parents are not sure how to help get them back into the habit. I had this happen to me recently. I have a student who is a excellent reader, chooses not to read. As a matter of fact they will do almost anything to get out of anything that has to do with reading. The child’s mother came to see me and asked what could she do to help motivate her child to read. She was telling me that her child used to love to read and read a lot but once they entered middle school they since has lost interest. I feel like this is a ongoing issue at the school that I teach. We met for our PLT(professional learning team) per grade level and we were discussing this very thing. I thought that I was the only one that was facing this issue. But after talking to my colleagues they too have seeing that some of their students who are refusing to read. I was asking them if it was during read aloud that their students were not wanting to read? They told me that it was read aloud, independently and in groups. We were trying to figure out among us how to get our kids reading and enjoying it. We discussed first what do you think the reason is for kids who will not read. We all wrote down our top three reasons then we discussed them. Here were some of the reason that we came up with. 1 )I don’t have the time.  We realize that kids are way more busy than we used to be at their age. Many of my students are athletes or participate in some type of after school club or activity. School, friends, sports, homework, television, and chores all compete for their time. So we felt that some children will need our help and their parents help in rearranging their schedules to make time for reading. 2) It’s not important. Often children don’t appreciate how reading can be purposeful or relevant to their lives. Our PLT decided to find reading materials on subjects that do matter to  kids, something that is happening out in the real world today that interests them. 3) It’s no fun.  For some children, especially those who have difficulty reading, books cause anxiety. Even for children with strong reading skills, pressure from school and home that emphasize reading for performance can make reading seem like a chore. We talking about that if we are finding material that interests them then, hopefully we can ease some of the pressure off reading so that they can enjoy it. We decided that when we have our students read independently, then we as teachers will stop what we are doing and read also. I think that if our students see us reading then maybe they will be more encouraged to read. So no I will not grade papers, check and respond to emails or plan for the next day. I will read when I assign my students to read by themselves. We will have to obtain permission from our principal and the teacher but we thought that maybe we could rotate our kids to be reading buddies to our kids that have severe disabilities and have them read to them since some of them are non verbal. Or we thought that since there is a elementary school within walking distance but we could plan to read to the younger kids maybe one or two days within a month or so to encourage our kids to read. We are planning on meeting with our principal this week to discuss these ideas to see if they are feasible or not. I hope that we can incorporate some of these ideas into our lesson plans really soon.

11/16/14

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One thought on “Kids that can read but dont…

  1. I love your idea of the teacher modeling reading at the same time as their students are in independent reading. I think that reinforces the idea that reading for pleasure is something people do their whole lives, while grading or doing other work while they are reading (as useful as that time is) reinforces that everyone has better things to do than read.
    I also think the idea of reading buddies is an excellent one: for many students the act or mentoring or being the expert in something and showing someone else how to do it is incredibly empowering. I’d love to know how this turned out!

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