A Bit on Teaching Reading pt. 3

When it comes to teaching reading, there are many different techniques and strategies that can appeal to a diverse student body.

Over the last few weeks we have been working on a bit of a fun project in class. We have been working on different ways and activities to get your students involved with reading in the classroom. My group in particuluar built a literary pen pal assignment where each student read a book and wrote letters back and forth with eachother communicating about that book. This activity is great for not only getting your students reading, but it also helps with comprehension, and it gets students talking about books. Getting your students talking about books is a great interest approach because it may intrugue their classmates.

There were some other great activities that were addressed such as building a classroom library, book podcasts, building book stacks, and various book clubs.

But ultimately, when it comes to teaching reading, there will always be one major question. How do you go about teaching students who struggle with reading? How do you help them? There are always going to be students who struggle with reading, or reading certain texts. They may struggle with comprehension, they may feel discouraged, or they may not have enough background knowledge to understand what is going on. It is your job as the teacher to prepare them and to encourage them when they seems to struggle. There are many different strategies out there that can help a teacher in this situation, but the important thing to remember is to persevere.

As a student myself, I have always learned the most from my encouraging and passionate teachers. Students can tell when you aren’t very interested in what your teaching, and that’ll rub off on them. They will become less interested and may even become bored. That is a major teaching fail, and it definitely something to keep in mind when it comes to teaching anything; not just teaching reading.

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What Have I Been Reading?

Lately I feel as though I have been all around, up and down, and side to side with my reading. In the beginning, I was reading a lot of articles for this class, but lately I have been submerged in novels.

Recently, we were assigned a pretty open ended reading project. My group decided to explore the world of literary pen pals. We each found a pen pal, picked up a book, and build an entire presentation around the experience. My pen pal was actually my mom back in Wyoming. She was eager to help me with my school work, but she seemed less eager to pick up a book and read it with me. Originally, we were supposed to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s a super easy read that we’ve both done already. So I figured it would be easy to pick it back up and then talk about it with each other. I got about halfway through the book and my mother decides she wants to read something she has never read before instead. So instead of Harry Potter, we read Divergent. Now, I have read Divergent. It was actually for my Adolescent Literature course. I got through it fairly quickly because I already has a grasp on everything that was going on. My mom, on the other hand, took a bit more time because it was her first time.

Over all, the experience wasn’t bad. My mom and I are great communicators so the pen pal part was pretty simple and I think the entire assignment went over relatively well. Thanks to her I was able to dig a bit deeper and discuss some of the fun parts within the novel. We got to discuss what faction we thought we should be in, and what we would do if the world actually ended up being like this. I’m used to reading dystopian novels, but she isn’t, so it was refreshing to get her perspective on everything. It was like shining a new, yet wise light onto something that’s modern and that I am already familiar with. Since she liked it so much, I recommended a few similar novels to her. I’m a bit anxious to see if she’ll actually read them and what she will think.

Now that is project is over, I need some new ideas for what I want to read next.