As teachers, it is our hope that we are able to not only help students get by with what they need to learn, but that we have instilled a love of learning that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Not every student comes to school with a natural love of reading, for some it is a slower start than others. In the lower elementary aged students, it is especially important to ignite a desire to read in their hearts that will carry with them throughout their lives. We’ve gathered a few ideas to help you build a love for reading in your students that will last.
If students are only being FORCED to read they are not being given the independence they crave. This can hinder their love of reading and make reading feel like a chore. Let students have a say in what they want to read and how they would like to read that day! Student Choice Boards are perfect for allowing students to take ownership of their learning while also setting boundaries for what you would like for them to be working on.
Boring old worksheets are out and engagement is in! Build a love of reading by having students get up, moving, and having fun! Fluency and Fitness+ has HUNDREDS of reading games to choose from. Students will have a blast getting out of their seat and practicing their reading skills with our interactive videos. Here are a few examples below!
Show YOUR Love of Reading
Growing up, I can still remember my fifth grade reading teacher. I remember that she loved to read so much that it was contagious! She chose the most engaging read alouds for our class, she changed her voice to fit the characters, and sometimes she would even dress up as a character for the reading that day. So many years later (I won’t say exactly how many) I can still remember this love of reading and the impact it had on my own learning experience. I truly enjoyed going to her class and felt excited to hear what would happen in our read aloud that day. Show your love of reading to your students and create an environment where students cannot help but love to read!
Reach Struggling Readers
Sometimes, a lack of motivation can stem from a student’s insecurities. If a student is struggling with reading, they are more likely to run, feel embarrassed, or shut down completely. Be sure to reach your struggling readers. Make time to work with your struggling readers one-on-one. As you work together, sprinkle praise to help build their confidence. If a student masters a sound they have been working on, remembers a word they weren’t able to recognize before, or just gives their best effort no matter how big or small the outcome – recognize the positives and verbalize them! Confidence is a major component of becoming a reader!
Find Student Interests
Reading is more fun when it involves something you are interested in! Get to know your students and find their interests. Once you know what they are passionate about, you can help them to find reading material that will be engaging for them. Do you have a student that absolutely loves trucks? Research children’s books all about trucks! Have a student that is obsessed with cats? Find a children’s book with a cat as the main character! This is guaranteed to spark a little excitement in even the most reluctant reader.