Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I really enjoy self-selected reading because just a small amount of freedom can lead to a large increase in interests. If the main goal is solely to get students to read, it shouldn't matter what reading level the book is or whether or not they had read it before. I had one teacher that wouldn't allow you to read the same book more than once, and my thought always was, "Well what if I don't like the other books?" If I didn't like the book I wouldn't read, I would pretend to read. I consider myself rather smart, but I'm very sneaky. If I don't want to do something, especially when I was grade school ages, you weren't going to get me to do. I may pretend to stay under your radar, but I will win and I will do what I want. The fact that I was so difficult and sneaky makes me kind of thankful that I am aware of that sort of behavior. Forcing me would get the teacher and I no where, I would just fake it. The Education World website has a great link to a list of 25 ways to motivate young readers. Ideas on this page include musical books, scavenger hunts, book-word search, books on tape, green light - go (peer recommended books), etc. Books with repeated lines and repetition are great for early readers, and there are plenty of interactive websites that glorify repetition. Giving children access to a lot of Caldecott books can help their interests. Usually there is a very clear artistic reason as to why the book won the award. There are so many fun types of media used in the books on the Caldecott list, and it may get your students more interested in art as well! Link to the Caldecott information and book lists. Another great website that I found that could be really useful is a page full of reading/language arts interactive websites.