Monday, April 12, 2010

Topic: Reading and Motivation

10-second review: “Developing the habit of reading: children who will read rather than children who merely can read. Reading proficiency builds reading interest and, in turn, reading interest fosters reading proficiency.” In other words, children learn to read by reading. “We must offer…a ladder of materials that lead him to become a more competent and discriminating reader.”

Title: “Motivation and Reading Interests.” Psychology in Teaching Reading. HP Smith and EV Dechant, pp. 269-295.

Comment: Students have the ideal that they become absorbed in their reading. They want to become lost in their reading. However, they usually start reading on page one and read everything. They soon learn that not all parts of a book are equally interesting. And then they quit. Students need to be shown how to re-connect to the book or chapter or story in order to renew their interest.

1. Preview chapters and magazine articles by reading the title, subtitles, first paragraph, the first sentence of each following paragraph and the last paragraph. This “survey” will raise questions in their minds that they will read to answer what they want to know. They read to answer their questions.

2. Preview nonfiction books by reading the first and last paragraphs of each chapter before they begin to read each chapter. Begin reading the first sentence of each paragraph in Chapter One. When they are “caught,” they keep reading. “Uncaught?” They go back to the first sentence of each paragraph until they are again caught up in their reading.

3. Preview novels. Read for ten minutes near the beginning. Read for ten minutes half-way through the novel. Read for ten minutes three-fourths through. Finally, read for ten-minutes near the end. Questions? Go back and begin reading to answer the questions. Bored? Ready to quit? Read a paragraph a page until they are caught. Uncaught? Go back to a  paragraph a page until they are caught again. And they will be “caught.”

Short Stories. Read a paragraph a page or column to determine whether the story is worth reading in its entirety.

So far as the “ladder” to reading discrimination is concerned, G. Robert Carlsen in Books and the Teen-age Reader recommends children’s literature, young adult books, popular adult books, significant modern literature, and the classics as a hierarchy of levels of reading. He claims that students who have climbed this ladder become successful readers of the classics. RayS.

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