When do kids start to hate reading?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by chebrutta, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    This is a very serious question to me.

    I constantly see on the elem. forum about carpet time and kids loving story time. Teacher constantly on the look out for new books. Kids who actually borrow and read said books.

    They get to me in middle school and many of them *hate* reading.

    In conferences, I've asked the kids why they hate reading and writing so much... and many of them admit they hate it because they aren't good at it (and, it seems, don't want to take the time to become good at it... and often, unwilling to let me help them).

    So, I'm curious - from other teacher's perspectives: When do they start to hate it? Why?
     
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  3. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    I get kids in 5th grade who 'hate reading'. But by the end of the year, many of those same kids' parents tell me their children are reading outside of school and liking it! Why? I think it's because I make them read - a lot. We have at least 20 minutes of SSR each day, and during that time, I read, too. The students are not allowed to talk to me or use the restroom or get a drink during SSR.

    At first there are some kids who daydream or try to talk to friends. But after a while of me telling them to get back to reading ("The book works better if it's open!"), they start reading - probably out of sheer boredom!

    Not every kid leaves my room a reader, but many do. Not that they'd admit it!

    This probably doesn't really answer your question, but I guess my point is, don't give up.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    It does seem to me that for many students the magic of reading begins to fade in middle school. Some of it may be due to attitude, fear that it's uncool, more things demanding their time such as friends and after school activities, teachers who don't make a point to continue fun reading activities (in elementary it seems there is always a contest or a reading slumber party or things of that nature), parents not being as involved...and I'm sure there are more possible reasons.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Could it be the way reading is taught in some areas? My district is a workshop model...kids devour books!
     
  6. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I teach grades 6-12 and almost all the kids love reading even though they struggle with it.
     
  7. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I do wonder about this... sometimes I think they're enthusiastic about it until they start the FCAT in 3rd grade. Then a test score says they aren't on grade level and they let it get them down and decide reading is stupid...

    What model do they use in NJ?
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My high school kids usually pin point middle school as the place where/when they began to dislike reading. I think Czacza makes a valid point. I've seen middle school teachers try to push classic lit on their students, and they beat it to death. They'll spend 6 weeks on some Shakespeare play or a piece that *most* junior high kids can't truly appreciate (like To Kill A Mockingbird), and it just sucks the soul out of the story.

    The kids who aren't natural bibliophiles do so much better in reader's workshop environments, even through 9th and 10th grade.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Wow, what a conclusion.

    Yes, by middle school poor readers have lost all hope and put up huge defenses because of years of difficulty. Most every teacher thinks what they do with the student should help them, but if they aren't making progress or the teacher doesn't truly know the underlying reason for the disconnect and how to teach the student to correct for the issues, students are the ones left holding the bag.

    How many teachers that couldn't help a student progress actually say it is their fault the child isn't learning to read? There was a study done years ago about schools rationale behind student's lack of progress. There were 5 different criteria. The only 2 selected by anyone was one that blamed the student and one that blamed the parent. The other 3 the school had complete control over. Not one selection was made stating the school had any responsibility in the matter, it was all the fault of student choosing not to learn or the parent impeding the learning.

    Here this pops up again in your response.

    Now, the difficult part here is students aren't trained as reading specialists so they can't disect the breakdown. They just know it is hard and sometimes near impossible and they don't know why. They may not be able to tell you they can't visualize what is going on or they can't come up with the definition of the word instantaneously so that they can parse together what they are reading. They probably do not realize that decoding isn't automatic for them although they can sound out many words and this interferes with their brain processing for comprehension. They can't tell you that they have been defeated (and sometimes put down by non-verbal or verbal information from previous teachers) to the point they don't have the motivation to try one more time by someone they will deem as just another person who can't help them.

    So, I hate to see kids that really struggle to read be blamed for their failures. Those that don't pick up reading quickly need an assessment to determine the breakdown and individualized plan (not necessarily an IEP) to figure out how to fix the problem and the range of underlying issues getting in the way can be huge.

    So, why do they hate to read? Many lack some of the basics to varying degrees.

    Why do others that can read fluently and above grade level hate to read? Well, just like not everyone enjoys playing sports, not everyone enjoys reading. Some loathe sports, some loathe reading. Hard for us teachers to understand, but think of the thing that you absolutely hate the most and imagine being put in an environment every day where "good" is loving to do that activity and not loving that activity is met with resistence and constant methods of coersion to change your mind.
    :2cents:
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It's not a NJ model per se...teaching philosophies, materials and programs vary by district. My district, and several in my area, follow a reading and writing workshop approach. I have had the benefit of learning from the likes of Lucy Calkins, Georgia Heard, Katherine Bomer, Isoke Nia at Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    For a very complete discussion of this topic and what we can do about it, pick up Kelly Gallagher's Readicide.
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I understand what you are saying here. I think instead of getting them to LOVE to read, we should focus on them getting the basics. In order to survive, we all need to be able to read, write, and think logically. Therefore, our goal is to do just that. Let's put the "feeling" of gettng them to love to read aside.

    My opinion is that a lot of the issues of reading and writing in middle school stems to HOW teachers are teaching it in elementary school. At least in my area. The schools here use basal reading programs (top two are either HM or OCR). However, being the rebellious one, I did the MINIMUM I could in the classroom doing these basal reading programs (which also really lacked a writing component) and spent 2 hours on readers and writers workshop. Boy oh boy, did my kids enjoy reading and writing by the end of the year. That said, I knew not everyone was going to be in "love" with either subjects, but at least they left me feeling more comfortable.

    In my humble opinion, we need to put basal reading programs to rest.
     
  13. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    I think some of them start to hate reading at about the same time they are forced to read books they don't like. I have students come in totally dreading whole-class novel units because they've had to read books that they didn't like, and didn't get to do anything really engaging with them. (Read and answer questions....read & answer more questions....write an essay....yawn)
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I love to read and I've always loved to read. I was that kid that always checked out the maximum number of books at the library :lol: That being said Huck Finn almost killed my love of reading. Yes, all by himself. I was forced to read that awful, awful book in 10th grade and I didn't read for quite awhile after that. Thankfully my teacher followed it up with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and I fell in love with that book. I can whip through a book in a couple hours (see my thread about Harry Potter :D) but classics make me cringe when I think about the old read, take a quiz, answer questions, read, take a quiz, answer questions. That's part of why I became an English teacher. My professor/adviser doesn't believe in that method at all and I learned so much about how to help students learn to appreciate novels and even enjoy them. We did an awesome Shakespeare project with low performing students at an urban school. By the end of the project, most of them just loved it! His book America's Unseen Kids is fantastic and I highly recommend it! It's about teaching English in urban high schools but can apply to everyone!
     
  15. Pencil Monkey

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    I think it starts around fifth and sixth grade. The reading becomes a lot more content and comprehension based and is no longer fun for kids that struggle. I try to make my lessons as fun and interesting as possible but sometimes I have to do the boring stuff. Not every lesson can be a song and dance.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I agree completely. We all understand the need to differentiate for our students, yet somehow we still expect them all to read, and enjoy, the same books.
     
  17. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    czacza - Thanks. I'm going to look into them :)

    Mrs. K - I downloaded it & I'll start on it as soon as I finish The Art and Science of Teaching :)

    I just struggle with understanding the where and why of the hatred... and why some of them have so much resistance (I mean, kicking-pouting-rather-have-a-root-canal-than-read-anything)... and HOW I can help lower that resistance. I know every kid isn't going to love reading... but it's the getting them to even read along that I'm struggling with.
     
  18. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I agree! I think kids start to "hate" reading as they get older because it gets boring! People are doing scripted programs and/or test prep. When they're really little, school is still exciting and they love it no matter what (generalizing). As they get older, the novelty of school wears off, and teachers start doing test prep. I loved reading growing up- I went to the library with my mom every single week and checked out tons of books. However, even I started hating it when all we were doing in reading was practice test stories and questions. A lot of schools I observed or did practicums in literally NEVER had students reading real books with actual plot lines- instead they were reading short stories that would be similiar to what they'd read on the state test. How are they supposed to enjoy reading if all they're ever reading is a boring 2-3 page story that you just can't "get into?" There is no suspense about wondering what will happen next. You read the short story and answer the questions.

    One of my HUGE pet peeves in reading classes is when students never read real books. I make it a point to always use real books with good storylines in my class. My kids love to read- and I teach special ed up to 5th grade. They tell me all the time that they love it-even the older ones. Every time I pulled out a new book for us to start, they would get really excited!
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I teach primary so I get the lovely part where they are starting to "get it" and are self motivated by every little success.

    I think a lot of learning disabilities are not caught in time, sometimes it is a normal developmental issue and not a LD, but as the years progress, so should the reading. Otherwise suspect a LD. My frustration is that it takes till 5th/6th grade for some schools to actually follow through and test a child. By then the child has an ingrained association that reading =feeling stupid.

    One other thing. I think it would help tremendously if teachers of all grades would find out the special interests of their students and get those kinds of books into the room! I've had a lot of success with that. I know in upper grades the class reads books together for discussion purposes. How do you choose a book that will appeal to all the kids?

    It would also help if teachers tried different ways to teach reading - teach to the student. It is much more work, but it would help all students learn. I am blessed to have a lot of tools at my disposal and a relatively small class size, so I can tailor a lot of my teaching to the child.
     
  20. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I "hate" being read to and I hate reading books. I remember in 1st grade the teacher reading a story to the class and I just wanted to leave. Yet I don't mind reading something that I'm interested in, like anything to do with Math. :) However this Summer Reading I will start in August since school starts in September.
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I have to say that I absolutely despise having kids read aloud. I am a very strong reader and listening to struggling readers read was just painful. I would often read ahead and then get in trouble for not knowing where we were when I was called on :lol: But in all honesty I think that's a quick way to ruin a good story is to have someone read it without any voice inflection, embellishment, etc...

    As an English teacher, I do believe it is important to read at least one novel together as a class. I think it's important to be able to do whole class activities and discussions. For example, with To Kill a Mockingbird the students act out the trial. It's hard to do that without a whole class! However, I believe it's imperative to pick a book that has a lot that can appeal to different types of people. You'll never reach every single person with one book but you can do your best to get kids interested in it and "sell" it right!
     
  22. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Peachy thanks so much for the thoughts about basals! They just do not fit my style, and this year I am faced with having/needing to use them due to different issues. I have been struggling trying to figure out what to do.

    On one discussion on reading programs on here, someone said, "Just read the Daily 5 and save money on all those basals." Along with your thoughts, that is what I am going to do! Getting excited!
     
  23. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Dear Chebrutta. This is my last post of the night. I could go on forever about this one. Also being a teacher from the Sunshine State, I understand your woes. Third grade rolls around and reading instruction turns to test preparation. Seeing third grade is all about reading and math, mostly reading, a lot of other subjects get pushed aside. Writing, science, and social studies are slighted, though all those subjects can be used to enhance reader's workshop. Some teachers are wonderful at creating a strong balance. :) Then others feel very worried. We know.

    Teachers do not always make reading relevant; they do not always give students book choices and help them to make connections with magazines, newspapers, and even making real-life applications like reading to understand travel. A lot of questions are presented, and inquiry (higher-order thinking) is pushed aside, in my opinion, which is the reason why I will focus more on inquiry and discussions than responding to rote questions this coming year.

    So, back to third grade... of course, we have those who fail the third grade, and they figure out why. I have had those students before teaching advanced, and their self-confidence was not as strong at the beginning of the year. Yet finally, at least they made it to fourth grade. However, they were not reading for pleasure. With increased interventions now, the feelings of some of these students must be of tremendous frustration because they are being submerged into something they greatly dislike for extra minutes a day, even sacrificing electives in middle school. Imagine wanting to play in the band or take an art class because that is your passion- and instead be told that you must focus on reading for another period a day. Being someone who loved taking music and art classes, it was a welcome break during my day. Reading had its time, but I loved how relaxed I felt when I could delve into musical theory or use oil pastels in a new way.

    I think also that some kids are never taught to find "just right" books. A lot of teachers do not utilize the workshop model- A LOT more than we realize. Besides that, we will always have students who are more acclimated with numbers than the joy of reading, but we can help them to make connections with graphic novels and so much more. Last, just EXPOSING kids to good books- and reading them in class- can make a colossal difference in itself!

    Thanks for being a middle school teacher who CARES (and of course, an FCAT comrade because you understand specific concerns beyond). :hugs:

    Now to bed. :yawn: :2cents: :|
     
  24. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I have found my biggest competitor with reading is technology. My students would rather watch the movie than read the book. And let's face it-the movie industry is making movies about everything. I still model reading with them (SSR), teach very animated and enthusiastic reading lessons despite the basal we have to use, and share my love of reading with the class. However, very few will pick up books to read for pleasure. One of my students actually told me that the movie will be out soon, and why bother reading the book! Stab to my heart! In recent years, I have also found that my kids are starting to write more in "texting" mode. I hate to see UR for "your" on a paper! YIKES!
     
  25. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    And before technology those same kids would be playing outside instead of reading, tinkering with something, instead of reading, and anything they could, instead of reading. It isn't as if most kids had this great love of reading even before the huge technology hit.

    The difference is, kids read about so many relevent things. They read about frogs, rocks, famous people, when they were learning to read. Sure there were some fiction stories, but there was much that was about simple things when they were learning how to read. Now we have many creative stories that we push to teach reading instead of using books that aid in creating more background knowledge for the student. While not all schools are like this, the focus on novel reading does a disservice to the students. In our district we don't have science textbooks (which might be fine if they were reading about science related information in other forms). The only form of reading our kids do most of the time is fiction and chapter books. Most of the time the stories are great, but not really realistic to the student's life so they don't increase missing background knowledge which is KEY to academic learning and peaking interest in the world around them.
     
  26. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Although I teach first grade, I have nieces an nephews (and a now-grown daughter) who struggled/struggle with reading and/or "dislike" to read as well. I teach in a very urban, very low-income neighborhood. My school (and most of my district, as well) is grounded in a basal-based, intervention-driven reading program. Is our basal bad? Not from what I've seen so far (the first grade part). Can it be supplemented with "authentic" literature? Absolutely! However, I have some thoughts...

    I wonder sometimes, if all the "intervention" instruction we are doing is not teaching children to hate reading. We spend soooo much time repeating the same instruction over and over (mostly phonics at my grade level), that the kids really get bored! I try to vary my approach, but I do that at my own peril, because we (have been in the past, no idea what will happen this year) are required to follow a certain "methodology."

    I think that students of all ages should be exposed to many, many styles, types, and genres of literature. Not everything is going to appeal to everyone. I am a voracious reader - like a PP, I always checked out the maximum number of books, and read them all long before the deadline (still do). However, in high school, we had to read Ethan Frome, and I despised it! I loved Huckleberry Finn and the Shakespeare I was exposed to - in fact, I can honestly say that there is only one book I have ever disliked! Perhaps if we explain to students that, while they may not enjoy every piece of literature we read, it is important that we DO read it, in order to broaden our horizons and to determine what types of literature we really do like!

    I know that most of my little ones, who do not have the benefit of a "workshop" model because of my school/district's approach, leave my classroom loving reading. I have a well-stocked classroom library of books at levels from no-word picture books to 5th-6th grade level, fiction and non-fiction (although I need more non-fiction), on popular (current) topics/genres and not. I allow for self-selected independent reading (after MUCH instruction, modeling, and practice), and by the end of 1st grade, most (definitely not all) of my students are reading chapter books and completing book reports of their own free will. I think it helps that I let my students know how very much I love reading, and I demonstrate this almost daily (and sometimes multiple times daily) by reading aloud to them, with passion, enjoyment, and theatric voices.

    Just some random thoughts....
     
  27. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    I think kids start to hate reading for two reasons.

    If they are struggling readers, the start to hate reading when they know they struggle, but aren't taught any strategies to improve as a reader. A worksheet will not make a good, reader, or make someone who already struggles like reading more.

    For kids who are able to read but CHOOSE not to, it's because reading has become a chore for them, not something they enjoy. Instead of being allowed to select books that interest them, they're forced to read the same novel unit as everyone else, at snail speed, filled with quizzes and ridiculous activities.
    No adult would choose to read that way? Why do we make our kids?
     
  28. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

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    Great topic. Just some more thoughts. It's well-documented that families who read generally produce kids who read. Most parents who read do so because they find it rewarding (not because they have to). It may be that those who 'hate' reading are not getting that reading IS rewarding.

    Even among families that read, maybe it's strictly romance novels. What 12-year old boy is going to want to read that? Kids need to realize that if they have an interest, very likely there is a great book out there for them to read about it. Then they will know all kinds of cool stuff about it. For example, last year I had a very, very bright Kindergartner who wasn't motivated to read... until I showed him a book about sharks. He pored over that thing for days, every chance he got.

    Even struggling readers can enjoy the pictures, and hopefully that will lure them into the text.

    I agree that kids will have to read stuff they don't want to read in order to succeed in school (and life), but I hope we can also guide them to understanding the rich treasure-trove that books are of information about stuff THEY are interested in.
     
  29. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    I can only speak for myself, since i do not teach elementary school or reading....but i remember starting to hate reading when I was in 5th grade....that was around the time when books started getting longer and less pictures...looking back at my report cards, I was reading at the 6th grade level in 4th grade...i don't know if that is good or not, but that gap definitely closed when i was in middle school.

    I started liking to read again once i was in college, especially "re-reading" all the classics i cliff-noted back in high school.
     
  30. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    My own kids (ages 12 and 11) are avid readers. They adore it. My oldest goes through at least a book a day in the summer (gotta love her Nook and it's library loaning feature!). She is a 7th grader.

    I am also an avid reader, so they have that as a role model. I think that is very important. It does help draw interest to books when there are movies out that connect to books (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson....I'm actually reading The Help aloud to my kids now, planning on taking them to the movie when it's released).

    My younger one (almost 8) hates reading. It breaks my heart to hear her say that, but she does. She's not as fluent at it, so it's harder for her, and she gets discouraged.
     
  31. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I agree - even the books I choose to read aloud to my kids. ( I still read to my middle schoolers at bedtime :wub:). I tried Huck Finn, and it was WAY beyond them.

    But my daughter's teacher did Gossamer with her 6th grade class this year and it was very well received.
     
  32. SCTeachInTX

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    I think that the love of reading is killed when we ask kids to read ABOVE their ability and comprehension level. It becomes a tedious task that makes them feel like a great, big failure.
     
  33. Ms.Jasztal

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    After last night's soapbox rant... lol....

    I agree with further posts, too- about ability and comprehension level. There are teachers who tell students to only read within their Lexile level as well, and I could never imagine that. School librarians even tend to hold back books that are above students' grade levels, but rarely do fourth graders, for example, read books that are only on a fourth grade level. Kids are curious about exploring different realms of literature.

    Then of course, technology is extremely prevalent. Smart phones like iPhones fascinate kids for long periods of time. Video games lull kids right into the action, and they often do not want to leave. Of course, movies are made about so many books these days (though I love some of the movies, I now feel strange about reading books like The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe... I actually stopped reading that book to my class after the movie came out... I want my kids to be exposed to literature that is new to them).
     
  34. montanadreaming

    montanadreaming Rookie

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    After reading this thread it got me to thinking....At my school teachers will now read everything aloud in grades k - 6. The students will have their own copy of the book for each subject but the teachers will be the ones reading with students following along. If this is similar at most schools and students do not read aloud in school until they hit 6th/7th grade this could be why they start to not like reading. I cannot picture a student that goes K - 5/6 where the teachers reading everything going into middle school and being comfortable reading aloud. They would not be use to it.
     
  35. pwhatley

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    Jul 30, 2011

    One thing I know about elementary kiddos and reading (from both experience and education) is that they need LOTS of turns, or opportunities to read aloud! Our literacy coach went from classroom to classroom last year, chose a single student from each classroom (during reading), and simply made a tally of each time the child got the opportunity to read aloud. The results were amazing! They ranged from 347 (my class :) ) down to 53 (5th grade) - all grades in our school share a simultaneous 120 minute reading block! Students who have more experience reading aloud generally do much better in reading in general.
     
  36. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Jul 30, 2011

    "Students who have more experience reading aloud generally do much better in reading in general"-P Whatley, where did you get this information from? There are many students who real fluently, but have no idea what they're reading, do you agree?
     
  37. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2011

    Reading aloud how is my question?

    Reading aloud with a partner? Round robin style reading aloud?

    I think the type of reading aloud matters a lot. I agree that some reading aloud is important, but if one student is reading aloud while everyone else "listens" or "follows along" that's a lot of students NOT actually reading or doing the thinking required to understand the text.

    Maybe the difference in the importance of students reading aloud comes down to grade level? By the time students reach upper elementary, reading aloud gives them less access to text then silently reading.

    I think teacher read aloud is far more beneficial as it allows a class to get lost in the enjoyment of a book together, that would otherwise could be too difficult for independent reading. Students get to enjoy the text while hearing phrased and fluent reading, think alouds that highlight strategies good readers use, and get to have great discussion of a book with the class.
     
  38. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 31, 2011

    I know when I've listened to audiobooks, I've still had to do some thinking to understand the text. I would say as much as when I read traditionally. Just like I've reread paragraphs, I've replayed the audio to hear what was said again. I also know that when I watch documentaries or serious films, I'm still doing a lot of thinking and processing.
     
  39. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 31, 2011

    Regarding reading aloud:
    Primary students who are still learning the mechanics of reading need many, many opportunities to read aloud, to hear themselves decoding and processing the letters into words with meaning. My students read high-frequency words aloud, spelling words, have lots of phonics practice, read phrases, sentences, and eventually, paragraphs and stories aloud. We do this in whole group, small group, and individual settings. I read to them extensively, modeling expression, phrasing, and interest in what I read. The only way I can know if they are correctly reading the words is to have them read it aloud. The process of reading aloud (and working through corrections) teaches students automaticity.

    Regarding comprehension, I really dislike the way some districts focus so much on fluency (read-aloud speed), to the exclusion of comprehension. (Can you say DIBELS? - but supposedly, DIBELS is changing.) I do not focus exclusively on reading mechanics, but have to make that a large part of our reading day, simply because my students are so young. I use lots of higher-order questions and modeling to reinforce comprehension. My goal (and I am fairly successful thus far) is that my students learn the mechanics of reading with automaticity, while understanding the meaning of what they read. The skills are separate, yet related.

    I hope I'm making sense... I feel as if I am rambling.
     
  40. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jul 31, 2011

    :thumb:
     
  41. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 31, 2011

    I agree with what quite a few posters have already said. As kids get older, it becomes more scripted, and kids have less choice of what they can read. Maybe we can't get kids to love reading, but I don't see why our goal can't be to get them to enjoy it at the very least.
     

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