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Reading classes!Reading is very important in schools. Why students do not like to read...

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sljefferson | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 7, 2009 at 4:12 PM via web

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Reading classes!

Reading is very important in schools. Why students do not like to read is beyond me. What kind of messages are you getting from students as to why they will not read?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 8, 2009 at 3:01 AM (Answer #2)

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This one will bring out much discussion, so be ready.  From my own experience, I think that students have experienced much in the way of literature that has proven to be challenging and helped to create the barriers that exist between students and an embrace of literature.  One element that I have seen as a challenge is that some parents do not value literacy as something that needs to be embraced by their child.  This might manifest itself in not reading to children consistently, or not talking about literature with them consistently. Sometimes, it might something small such as choosing television or video games over books.  I am noting how, over the years, more of my students have not visited the public library or lack a library card.  While one of these cannot account for the dislike of reading, combine them all and there is something present about the dislike of reading.  Another element might be that teachers and administrators need to do a better job of selecting texts that are culturally, psychologically, and emotionally relevant to children.  The novels and works read in our schools must "connect" to our students in a meaningful manner.  Finally, I think that the desire to catch students up according to Standards Based Educational Reform and No Child Left Behind has created a setting where teachers and specialists are more concerned with a performance score on a standardized test, selecting canned programs that "guarantee" success as opposed to beginning with the child and carving out a meaningful reading programme that can yield a lifelong love and understanding of literacy and reading.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 8, 2009 at 6:16 PM (Answer #3)

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Reading classes!

Reading is very important in schools. Why students do not like to read is beyond me. What kind of messages are you getting from students as to why they will not read?

I hear a wide range of answers to this, from "it's boring!" to "I don't have time" to "I play video games when I'm not doing homework." Sadly, I'm afraid printed reading material will never recover in popularity to its higher status in the pre-television era. The computer and Internet likewise have cut into the average student's reading time, and video games and text messaging are also threats to the written page. I really believe that many students would be more likely to read if the material was downloaded to their computer or Ipod. Parents really need to be held partially responsible, for they have the power to control pre-adolescent and teenage intake.

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 11, 2009 at 9:22 AM (Answer #4)

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Many students don't like to read because can't read well. Their lack of reading skills makes reading fiction and nonfiction largely incomprehensible. I've also noticed that students who enjoy reading have vivid imaginations. They read passages of description and can imagine the picture in their minds, like watching a movie. Also, students who enjoy reading can relate what they have read to prior knowledge and experience. Students who don't enjoy reading seem to lack these abilities. That said, I have found, however, that most students I have known who "hate reading" really don't. They just hate to read what they don't find interesting. Students who "hate to read" what is assigned will often spend hours reading articles and postings online about subjects that fascinate them.

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fernholz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 11, 2009 at 6:39 PM (Answer #5)

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Based on personal experience students like to read when they are offered choices. As a middle school reading teacher I offer magazines, newspapers, and books to students during SSR (self selected reading).

Reading is difficult for some students and we need to differentiate. Students are more apt to read when the reading material is at their ability level. Those students who struggle may not enjoy reading in front of others. My first year of teaching I noticed a few behavior problems with a couple students. I found out later they struggle with reading. Over the years I try to stay away from Round Robin reading because of this.

Find out the students interests and try to provide reading material at their ability levels. Also allow them to read anything during SSR-including newspapers and magazines.

 

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ljs317 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:22 PM (Answer #6)

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I am a Reading Teacher and a parent of two children who both attend college.  I agree with most of what has been expressed.  I could see the change in my own two children - when they were growing up, they enjoyed reading - they both spent much of their time asking me to read to them, and when they started school, they really enjoyed literature.  But, that was before the computer age - once that took place, everything changed. Before we knew what was happening, they were fully addicted to instant messaging, cell phone texting, downloading music, followed by facebook.

I watched the growing shift of my own students - there are by far too many distractions for them - why should they read, when instant gratification from the computer and other media are at their fingertips?  It is a real and difficult problem to solve.   I talk to my first and second grade parents and try to prepare them for what's ahead; I dont think they care. They are doing the same thing!!  Their children watch them on the computer, talking on their cell phones, texting, and engaging in all internet activities as well.

As far as NCLB - Im not sure I agree with #2 regarding NCLB - funds are provided to hire teachers like myself to work with below grade level students.  If I can get my students to enjoy reading, which I hopefully do, then I can provide them with a lifelong love of reading, and subsequently, their test scores will be reflective of their ability to read at grade level.

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teacherof7 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM (Answer #7)

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So many of the students I teach are used to having materials read to them.  When they come to me in 7th grade, they have had their teachers read to them, their peers round-robin read to them, or listened to books on tape/CD.  They say that reading requires "too much work."

I think that it is hard to dispeal this notion to middle school students, but we must continue to try.  Quite possibly silent reading needs to start at the elementary level, so that they are learning the necessary skills to be successful and enjoy reading.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted November 7, 2009 at 8:43 PM (Answer #8)

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What I have learned as a teacher is that "lazy" students are rarely lazy. Students who "don't care" usually do. So what is taking place that causes this apathy about reading? Aside from the obvious fact that many students have low skills, one of the factors with regard to the decline in student reading is teachers. (Insert indignant gasp.)

As teachers, we sometimes become so focused on squeezing every little drop of learning out of a piece of literature that we ruin it for students. Early on in school, children experience an enjoyment of books whether they read the books themselves or have the books read to them. As they proceed through school they begin reading for information rather than enjoyment, and at some point many forget about reading for pleaure, and they give up on reading completely.

Kelly Gallagher has written a book entitled Readicide, and while I've read only a few pages of it, it seems to address this issue.

Read-i-cide n: The systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools. (Kelly Gallagher)

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 8, 2009 at 7:07 PM (Answer #9)

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I'm still convinced that it isn't reading that kids hate. What they hate is being bored and confused by reading material that is too difficult for their reading skills or that does not seem to relate to them in any way. I can't count the number of "I Hate To Read" students who loved The Outsiders and then continued to read the rest of Hinton's novels. Once that happened, I could always find other books for them that they read and enjoyed.

Also, I loved using the Newpaper in Education service in our town. When the (free) newspapers arrived, everybody--and I mean everybody--grabbed a paper and read. Boys who "hated" to read the most somehow didn't mind reading the sports page. Frequently, my students would come by after school to pick up a newspaper to take home with them. Once in a very great while, our papers wouldn't be delivered as expected, and the kids would be terribly disappointed. Reading the newspaper was a highlight of their week.

 

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tklinger | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 27, 2009 at 5:45 PM (Answer #10)

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I agree with most of the posts that have been made on this comment. I teach 1st grade, so the bulk of my teaching is teaching reading. I have seen a shift in children and parents in the last few years that I believe has had a huge impact on students and reading ability, and desire. Reading is no longer modeled at home. And if students don't see that it's important to family, and parents then they themselves do not feel the importance. I do my best to communicate the importance of reading to/with their child the very first days of school. I send home reading every day, and I make family involvement projects to involve the parents in their student's literacy growth.

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ronagreen13 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:46 PM (Answer #11)

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Reading classes!

Reading is very important in schools. Why students do not like to read is beyond me. What kind of messages are you getting from students as to why they will not read?

I think a lot of students don't like to read because they feel they aren't good at reading. I taught in a Hispanic school where most of the students read below grade level. Once they were taught how to read more efficiently and how to relate stories to their own lives, they became more interested. Even Shakespeare stories can relate to students in some way. Acting out reading helps students as well, to give them a break from the same old same old. There will always be students that don't like to read, but it is the ones that you can change that makes the difference. I also think that sometimes it is good to explain to kids why reading is so important and how it will relate to their daily lives forever.

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millertime09 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 17, 2010 at 8:55 AM (Answer #12)

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Amen to all that has been said.  I also feel the testing that states require has also sapped the interest in reading.  Our state reading tests consist of passages followed by a few questions.  These test scores are used to determine if a school is at risk.  While testing and accountability are important, the emphais that is placed on it undermines reading true literature.  I find that, with a little encouragement, students will usually become engaged  with a novel or even poetry.  The difficulty is finding a balance between teaching reading and preparing students for tests.

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frizzle1 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted January 17, 2010 at 1:24 PM (Answer #13)

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I agree with most of the posts that have been made on this comment. I teach 1st grade, so the bulk of my teaching is teaching reading. I have seen a shift in children and parents in the last few years that I believe has had a huge impact on students and reading ability, and desire. Reading is no longer modeled at home. And if students don't see that it's important to family, and parents then they themselves do not feel the importance. I do my best to communicate the importance of reading to/with their child the very first days of school. I send home reading every day, and I make family involvement projects to involve the parents in their student's literacy growth.

I taught first grade for years and now teach second and I agree that parents have to understand early on how critical these early reading years are.  I tell parents at Open  House that I may read with their child one on one once a week, but they can do it every day.  They should consider themselves their child's personal reading coach!  I send home coaching strategies and encourage parents to come in and observe me teaching a small group lesson to hear the kinds of discussions we have. I also have parents come in to model a book club, where we have read the book ahead of time and we all get together to discuss it.  I encourage kids to talk about what they are reading and give them opportunities to tell other kids about a great book they read.  The more enthusiastic I am, the more enthusiastic they are.  It is catching! 

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cmriser | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 18, 2010 at 4:39 AM (Answer #14)

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Reading classes!

Reading is very important in schools. Why students do not like to read is beyond me. What kind of messages are you getting from students as to why they will not read?

I suggest reading the Bluford series to some of my low level readers.  The Bluford series use contemporary themes and language.  Even my most recalcitrant readers have read these books and told me how much they enjoyed them.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted May 31, 2010 at 8:04 AM (Answer #15)

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I think that some students have more or less gotten lazy. Reading is not seen to be as important as it used to be. Many parents are not giving their children a passion for reading before they they enter school. In my opinion, parents who spend a great deal of time reading to their children prior to their school years are raising children who will love to read later in life.

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