When we read good books, they stay with us for our entire lives. The problem for teachers is often giving their students the impetus to turn the first page! With the growth of social media and internet platforms in general, this can seem harder than ever. But this shouldn’t be the case!
Here are ten tips to keep your students engaged with their books.
1. Get Technology Involved!
Technological innovation doesn’t always have to be the enemy of reading. Students may be used to staring at screens nowadays but you can use that to your advantage with E-Readers. What better way to get students turning pages than by putting those pages on a screen? Nearly 300 million E-books were sold in the US last year, making it one of the fastest growing markets in the country. Make sure your classroom isn’t left behind!
2. Offer Different Reading Techniques
Depending on the material you are dealing with, there are numerous different techniques you can teach your students to help them focus on the subject in hand. For lengthy passages, you can experiment with skim or scan reading methods to glean key points from the text. Where more detailed comprehension is required, show your students ways of marking key sections with ways to take notes they can revisit with ease. Sticky notes also are great to use because you can color code those, stick them where they are relevant and write notes as well.
3. Make Sure It’s Relevant
Ever been asked by a student ‘how will this help me in my everyday life’? Sure, it’s a cliché. But, if you are able to show your students that the content you’re reading is relevant and relatable, you’ve won half the battle.
“Students are more politically engaged now than ever before, meaning that those teachers who are able to bring texts to life in a modern-day context are streets ahead of those who can’t,” says Cynthia B. Miller, librarian for Write My X and Britstudent.
4. Make Sure They Know That You Love It Too!
It isn’t just a case of making students relate the content to their own lives, though. Tell your students how a text has affected you and they are far more likely to want to read it themselves. A romantic anecdote can capture the most ardent sceptic – even if it’s just so they have material to use against you!
Take some time to share titles and books that you enjoy and also invite others to share theirs in a book share!
Reading out loud can help students who struggle with the tone or sentence structure of a particular passage. It can also bring a book to life! This is even more important with works of poetry, where a competent reading is essential to communicating the message of the work.
Read aloud also give students a chance to hear stories that are above their independent reading level. Taking the time to read, stop, ask questions and discuss the text can help students tremendously with developing their reading comprehension.
6. Make It A Habit!
Try to make your students realize that reading ought not to be a chore. Get your students to read frequently throughout the day, whether they’re in class, on the bus, or relaxing at home after a long day. Reading can be incredibly relaxing and the more frequently your students practice, the more likely they are to think so too!
7. If You Lose Focus, Quickly Get The Habit Back
Everybody knows that there are days when your students won’t be able to face the sight of a book – we’ve all been there. This doesn’t matter, provided it doesn’t turn into inertia. If they get out of the habit, make sure to help them get back into it as soon as possible! You can even offer a reward for getting back to the text by sitting with a friend, earning a small reward or even enjoying a special snack.
8. Offer Reading Challenges
There’s nothing like a competition to inspire those who were previously dragging their feet! Offer challenges to your students to spark the competitive edge amongst them. Set targets and watch them boast to each other when they start to get ahead!
As suggested above, it’s a case of the more the merrier when it comes to reading.
“This means that students should be encouraged to open a book no matter where they find themselves. Everybody can fly through a book on holiday, but it’s your job to inspire that attitude at home, in the park, or even on a bench by the road,” explains Michael O. Joseph, English teacher at 1 Day 2 Write and Next Coursework.
10. Go to the Library!
Of course, no mention of books is ever complete without mention of the library! Encourage your students to register for a library card and advise them of the expansive resources in their local library. You can even show them around it yourself!
Joel Syder is English tutor and writer at Essay Help and PhD Kingdom. He enjoys helping people to fall in love with reading books as well as creating articles about things that excite him for AcademicBrits, academic service.
Do you love sharing books with your class? Then you will definitely want to join me LIVE for our next FB Live Workshop where I’m going to share some of my favorite SEL Books! Mark your calendars for September 26, 2019 at 7:00pm EST.
You can earn PD hours for your time at the workshop AND I’m giving away 2 Amazon Gift Cards to engaged viewers!