Now that summer vacation is over students, teachers, and parents are settling into the new school year. It’s an exciting time – and a crucial one – in the life of children as the foundation for the whole year begins.
Student’s attitude and confidence, both socially and academically, are determined in those first few critical weeks. Teachers and parents alike want to make sure the new year gets off to the best possible start and that includes setting goals for student learning. One such goal is incorporating reading strategies that build confidence and lifelong readers.
The teacher that fosters a love of reading is giving a special gift to her students. But it’s more than that. Reading is perhaps the most fundamental skill and tool for success a child can learn. When these skills are lacking, it’s extremely difficult to succeed in any subject matter.
Making Reading Fun
Why is it that children often say they hate to read? A lot of it has to do with the fact that they’ve never been encouraged to curl up with a book and simply get lost in the joy of it.
Teachers can do a lot to change this. By creating a special area in the classroom just for reading, students get the idea that reading is special. It doesn’t take a lot of space – a back corner or nook decorated with bean bags or oversized floor pillows creates a relaxing oasis for escaping between the pages of a book.
Some teachers bring in a “teacher size” chair such as a rocking chair or director’s chair so she can join the group without getting down on the floor. The students can take turns sitting in the teacher chair to read aloud to the group. Kids love this!
Parents can do the same at home. Mom and Dad may have a favorite chair for reading, their own space where they can kick back and read the paper or be alone with their book. Chances are children would like their own reading space, too, one free of TV or computer distractions.
The important thing to remember is to keep reading time fun and relaxed. Students shouldn’t have to sit in rows at their desk to enjoy a book. Adults don’t like to read this way–why should we expect children to?