Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Motivating Unmotivated Readers

Every year one of my tasks as a teacher is to find those unmotivated readers and reignite their passion for reading. I find that as students progress through elementary school their love for reading dwindles and therefore the gap between those who read well and those who struggle with reading widen.Below is a list of things that I have done in the past that I have found beneficial. I also suggest reading Steven Layne's book if you are interested in learning more about this topic. He is a dynamic speaker and very motivating!

Igniting a Pasison for Reading

  • Interest inventories- I pass these out to students at the beginning of the year and then again after Christmas. I ask them to jot down some of their hobbies, favorite sports and previously read books. This allows me to find out what interests them and then I always check out a stack of books for each child based on their inventory. Students are very possessive about the books I have given them and they always seem to enjoy them.
  • Put a book in a child's hand- Last month I had a reader who would never complete any book. He wasn't motivated to read and spent so much time shopping in the classroom library.Then,  I found a book that I thought he would adore (Chasing Lincoln's Killer) and said, "When I saw this book, I knew you would love it. I grabbed it for you because I knew all the other students would swipe it off the shelf before you could get to it." No kidding, he had read  over half the book by lunch that day!
  • Book Talks- I am in the process of doing one of these now. Recently, I attended a conference in which Steven Layne described how each teacher is some child's favorite. He told us about the power that teachers have on students choice in books. He suggested having teacher do book talks for the school in which they really pumped up a book. I am planning on doing a book talk with the book Mergers. I am going to put it in a small grill and wheel it into the classroom like Dr. Layne suggests. I am going to put a sign on the grill that says, Mrs. McCumbee's Sizzling Book Pick.

This Side of Paradise


  • Create a bulletin board display that has pictures of all the teachers on a grade level and then the cover of their favorite book. I also think this would be great school initiative!  I would love to see outside each teacher's classroom a copy of their favorite book.
  • Book Trailers- Have students create book trailers for their favorite books. Then they can show the trailers to their classmates.
  • Bulletin Board Displays with book recommendation tags. Each time a student reads a really great book they could fill out a tag to add to the board.
  • Introduce books that are powerful, but that they have not heard of before. For example, my kids are very familiar with the Battle of the Books list and will likely read these on their own.For my gifted readers,  I like to find books that are outside of what their friends are reading to encourage more reading. Like This Side of  Paradise.
This Side of Paradise

I would love to hear about other ways you motivate readers.

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1 comment:

  1. I went to a conference where Steven Layne spoke as well and loved him! Then I won his book even better. I am the reading specialist so I presented the idea of the hot read and my principal went for it. So each month a teacher gives me a title of a book we don't have in the library we order 3 copies, it has to be a book with a copyright date after 2002 to keep it semi-current. Then we give a short skit, or talk about it to get the kids really excited. So far each month about 150 kids have checked out the books. I also tried to get the teachers to read more current books, because we all loved Beverly Cleary doesn't mean the kids we teach will or can relate to it. I haven't had as much success with that though.
    Heidi

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