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Motivating Reluctant Readers


"All teachers encounter students who don't like to read," says Education World columnist Cathy Puett Miller. "A few teachers view that fact as inevitable, but most truly want to 'leave no child behind.' How do we tap the potential of reluctant readers? How do we inspire them to become readers? How do we give them the tools to be successful?"

The key to turning reluctant or struggling readers into enthusiastic readers, Miller says is making sure that all students are active participants in their own learning, not just passive recipients of teacher instruction. The following strategies do just that.

Learn More About Motivating Reluctant Readers

Education World has posted a number of articles on strategies and techniques for motivating reluctant or struggling readers, including:

Motivating the Reluctant Reader
Explore the value of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in today's classroom. Cathy Puett Miller provides classroom-ready tips and ideas to turn all students into readers. Included: Resources for future reading.

Competition Increases Student Reading
"The Book Bowl makes a sport of reading!" said Bill Derry, supervisor of library media services for public schools in New Haven, Connecticut. Find out how this competition sparks students to read more! Included: Tips for starting your own Book Bowl.

'Talking' Books Creates a Hook
Media specialist Nancy Keane wants kids to read books they love so they'll love to read. Keane created a Web site called Booktalks -- Quick and Simple to help educators make books more appealing to students.

'Sustained Silent Reading' Helps Develop Independent Readers
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR), or as some people call it, DEAR (Drop Everything And Read), in which teachers set aside a block of time each day for quiet reading can be one more tool for developing lifelong readers.

25 Ideas to Motivate Young Readers
The folks at the BOOK-IT! Program have given Education World permission to reprint 25 great ideas from teachers -- ideas that are sure to get kids across the grades excited about reading.

"Story Bits" Strategy Works
Principal Addie Gaines latches on to any strategy that will make reading more meaningful for her students. But when she read about a strategy called Story Bits, Gaines took the idea one step farther, and modeled the strategy to her teachers.

Shared Reading: Listening Leads to Fluency and Understanding
Many middle and high school teachers use shared-reading -- an approach to teaching reading that engages students and makes them better readers. Reading expert Dr. Janet Allen and two teachers offer tips for a successful start to shared reading.

Literature Circles Build Excitement for Books
"Literature circles offer students a chance to be readers and writers, to apply the literacy skills that they are learning," said Katherine L. Schlick Noe, education professor and coauthor of two books about using literature circles.

The Little Reading Caf
Educator Brenda Dyck reflected on her students' seeming dislike for recreational reading. Then, she hatched a plan for imitating the successful ambience of the major bookstore chains. Her plan seems to be working.

Reader's Theater: A Reason to Read Aloud
The Reader's Theater strategy blends students' desire to perform with their need for oral reading practice. RT offers an entertaining and engaging means of improving fluency and enhancing comprehension. Included: RT tips from the experts.

Family Reading Nights Create Avid Readers
For administrators looking to increase student reading at school and at home and improve parent involvement, family reading nights have proven successful for many schools. Included: Suggestions for family reading night programming.