Reading Must Be Fun and Challenging to Be Effective
Textbook or informational reading has a reputation for being dry, boring and unenlightening. That could be why reading retention is such a challenge for many students. But why can’t it be fun, challenging and open the doors to greater enthusiasm about the subject matter?
Giving students a choice to read what they are most passionate about is a smart jumpstart to engendering interest in reading. Discovering what students want to learn more about puts them on a path to better reading habits. Finding information is part of the goal but ‘how’ students find the information can be more flexible than just assigning pages from a textbook with questions at the end.
Rather than burden students with answering traditional questions at the end of text reading, teachers have discovered that encouraging students to think about the questions that arise in their own minds as they’re reading creates more interest. Also, if students feel they are becoming better readers, improving their reading skills, it serves as a catalyst to want to read even more.
When students are tasked with solving a problem, textbook reading can be included as one way to research the solution, but not the only way. Students profit by raising their own questions relevant to the problem and enjoy the flexibility to source answers beyond the textbook
Technology in the classroom is huge value to both students and teachers. Students are comfortable with technology and have access to discovering worlds of information. Reading is greatly encouraged in the process of researching new ideas and topics for projects.
In the process of gathering new information, students will not always see just a black or white representation of ideas. There will always be gray areas and some degree of conflict inherent in information. Students benefit from analyzing various social, economic and political issues and learn to understand the basis of an author’s ideas.