Teacher, I was fascinated with developing kids’ love of reading. And I’ve always enjoyed reading. I’m also obligated to make sure my son enjoys reading, which he
does. I know I’m on a mission, but I know it’s a good one!
Here are ten ideas for teachers of all subjects, parents, and administrators to aid with this aim.
1. First step: We need to read if we want them to read. Read for enjoyment, knowledge, instruction, social connection, etc. Read. Read more than you have been.
2. Discuss your reading habits: Share with friends and family. What you’ve read, gained, or learned from these texts, and what you recommend. I brought in my books, read passages to them, read during silent reading, talked about how I couldn’t wait for the weekend to read, my book club disputes, the stories my husband and I read aloud to each other, and so on. Help them see a reader. Also, I recently discovered Goodreads, a site where you can share, get recommendations, and read reviews posted by friends. Find me on Goodreads if you are or join! What are you reading? Does anyone know whether there’s a kid-friendly version?
3. Encourage students to read together: Organize book clubs and reading circles. Many kids (particularly boys) need to discuss texts. It improves their understanding and makes it more fun. That’s why adults love book clubs and spend hours on Goodreads, so let’s help youngsters too. Most curriculums in international school education focus on developing healthy reading habits in children from a very young age. They focus on everything from pronunciations to accent training and more.
4. Hold a Read-a-Thon: A lovely event that parents and administrators can organize. My son’s school just held a Read-a-Thon, which he loved. Kids donned PJs, brought pillows and plush animals to school, and chose a “challenging book.” Teachers and administrators read. They had a great time and raised a lot of money.
5. Go on a trip: This is another method to make reading fun. Visit your local, university, or bookshop. You are surrounded by thousands of books, caressing their beautiful pages, seeing the world of possibilities in print, and drooling over all there is to know and discover. My family typically takes weekend vacations to explore local bookstores. It’s fun to go on adventures and discuss what a “good bookstore” is. Parents can plan this event, and administrators can support or encourage it.
6. Audible books Play short excerpts for pupils to listen to: Reading is reading to me. Encountering stories or accumulating knowledge does not require decoding or fluency skills. Reading text doesn’t always stick with me as much as listening to audiobooks. My imagination was free to create lasting images of the scenes.
7. Host writers’ talks: Admin and parents can help with this activity. Hearing an author (preferably from a similar background) speak about reading and writing can have a big impact on kids.
8. Link reading to other issues: It was amazing to read about how Malians concealed their ancient sacred manuscripts after Islamic extremists seized Timbuktu. Always political, books, and reading (think banned books, prohibitions on slaves becoming literate, etc.). Help pupils understand the historical and political background of literature to increase their appreciation.
9. Learn about specific population needs: Professional development is required for those teaching literacies to disadvantaged populations. Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys by Wilhelm and Smith revolutionized my teaching of reading in middle school. Then you must read this book! Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males by A. Tatum had a similar impact on me. We must cater to all learners.
10. Read aloud methods: Finally, I believe that all teachers should teach reading. Each curriculum area has its own text genres; teachers should be trained in teaching reading skills to pupils. Kids won’t enjoy reading if they can’t do it. We must teach them to read while cultivating an attitude.
From the superintendent to the classroom teacher, the custodian to the parent’s association, we can all do more. So, instead of “20 things…”, I’ll stop here and welcome your participation.