Reading passages are so important to practice with your students. Not only for end of year testing, but because they help build stamina. Reading passages are a great tool for teachers to use to practice various reading comprehension skills. But sometimes, students are just not motivated to work on them. I’ve created a list of five ways you can help motivate your students.
1. Use High Interest Reading Passages
Be picky about the passages you have your students read! Yes, I know–end of year testing uses BORING passages. But, should students have to read boring passages all year long, while they are learning the skills? In my opinion–no! Our job as educators is to encourage students and get them excited about reading. I never want to turn students off of reading by forcing dry, boring passages down their throats! One of the reasons I first developed my Comprehension Quests was to give teachers a fun way to practice reading passages with their students. You can learn more about Comprehension Quests here. I made sure to include high interest passages for my students to read.
2. Set a Purpose for Reading
It is so important for students to have a purpose for reading the passage. It’s amazing how distracted our minds can become when we aren’t focused. Your reason for reading this blog post is to get 5 ways to motivate your students. There is a reason you are continuing to read through! Here are some ideas for setting a purpose for reading with your students:
- to fill out a graphic organizer
- to find out more about a topic for a discussion
- to answer a question (usually posed by the author–or by you)
- to respond to a reading question stem
3. Annotate the Passage
You can have your students highlight or underline any word they don’t know the meaning of. I also love to give my students post it notes so they can write down questions they had as they are reading. These are another tool you can use when you are setting a purpose for their reading!
4. Use Colorful Writing Tools
Do you ever walk down the office aisle at Target or Walmart and see all the colorful writing tools and have to resist buying them all?? Students feel the same way about writing tools! Colored pencils, highlighters, fun pens, all can make students really happy. Depending on the task, I often let my students use these tools for their work. (Of course there are times when a pencil is the only appropriate tool to use–but not always!!) Papermate flairs are my favorite pens to use. I have found that if you keep them capped, they last a long time!
5. Give Students Time to Chat
I think it is really important that we give students time to collaborate and discuss their school work! Sometimes they even learn better from their peers! Sometimes I allow my students to work in partner pairs or small groups when we complete reading passages, especially if we are doing a Comprehension Quest. Giving them opportunities to discuss the content of the passage, the graphic organizers they are completing, or their responses can help them grow. While there should be plenty of times for students to work and practice these skills independently, sometimes collaboration can really help!
I hope these tips help! Don’t forget to pin for later!
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