In a 24/7 online digital world, is the traditional book is in danger of going the way of the do-do bird with students? If so, who can blame them after all? With a multitude of reading materials and social stimuli available online and on demand, it’s tough competition. How do we make reading books enjoyable again for learners in a digital world?
High school English teacher Jori Krulder has the answer here. In fact, she’s got 5 great suggestions to follow in Putting an End to Fake Reading on Edutopia. But hold on a second—what exactly is “fake reading?” How does it apply to the ways we can make reading books enjoyable? It’s pretty simple, actually. From Jori’s article:
“Although I used to give students time to read once a week in my English classes for several years, I always knew I wasn’t making the impact I was aiming for … I realized that not all of the students were actually reading—and that my reading program was anything but a success.”
Basically, she had to go from students pretending to read to actually wanting to read. She cites Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer as a major influence in her thinking. It helped her craft the 5 suggestions below to help teachers make reading books enjoyable for digital learners.
5 Ways to Make Reading Books Enjoyable
- Make Time for Reading: In her class periods, Jori began giving students 10-15 minutes of choice reading time. This tactic accomplished two things. First, it gave them time to practice skills and gain an interest in reading. Second, it helped make teaching the curriculum easier and more enjoyable for her and them.
- Provide Easy Access: “There’s something powerful about having a good book immediately available to hand a student,” Jori claims. You can make reading books enjoyable by providing plenty of options to explore. In addition, she also listened carefully to her students’ suggestions and interests, and was able to provide for them accordingly.
- Make Reading More Visible: This is a simple visual tactic to share progress and inspire reading interest among learners. Basically Jori keeps a whiteboard at the back of her class and lets students record all the books they’ve read during the month. This has inspired a lot of interest in what everyone is reading—and a little friendly competition too.
- Talk About Books: Another easy way to make reading books enjoyable is simply to talk about them more. Jori asks her learners questions like “How many people finished a book last night?” and “How many people read their choice books yesterday?”
- Be Patient: In the end, it all comes down to persistence and patience. We can never expect our learners to adopt new habits and interests overnight. “If we stay connected and keep suggesting new books, talking about books, and trying different techniques, our students will respond,” says Jori.
Read Jori Krulder’s full article Putting an End to Fake Reading on Edutopia.
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