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Old 10-01-2011, 09:30 AM
 
55 posts, read 71,511 times
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With the thought that children learn by example, and after reading to our son since he was a toddler, an early highlight for him (and us) was reading US a story. We had looked forward to that day with anticipation and when it came, he was so proud of himself. I can't tell you how hearing him pronounce some of Dr. Seuss' names would make us giggle. It's been a loving process that left good feelings about reading that has led him to enjoy reading stories under the covers with his headlamp, past bedtime.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:35 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,877 posts, read 57,944,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post

What do you think is the best way to encourage children to read for pleasure and with comprehension?
Focus on the pleasure and let the comprehension fend for itself.
It will come along soon enough if they are actually enjoying the reading.
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:16 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,424,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
Finally, last week he's says to me he doesn't understand why everyone keeps giving him "little kid books", and then my dd chimed in that everyone did that to her in elementary as well! I think sometimes I would actually lean towards easier books thinking that was the problem!
Yes, I think a big part of the problem is that people, including teachers, underestimate what kids are capable of reading. I'm over 50 now and I can remember when kids were able to read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle in first grade, Heidi in 4th grade, and Jane Eyre in 8th. Nowadays Jane Eyre is considered college reading and the others are considered too difficult for kids to read. They often give them "junk books" b/c they don't think the kids can read anything more difficult, but these books give their minds very little to grab onto and they soon get bored. Think of it this way--if the story is good enough, they will get sucked in and read beyond their level just to get at the story and in the process they will get stretched. That's why I think Harry Potter is so good for kids--both of my dd's started reading them before they were ready for it and may have missed some of it b/c it was past their level but they went back and read again. And then each one got more difficult and complex and fatter and they read them all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharmassy View Post
With the thought that children learn by example, and after reading to our son since he was a toddler, an early highlight for him (and us) was reading US a story. We had looked forward to that day with anticipation and when it came, he was so proud of himself. I can't tell you how hearing him pronounce some of Dr. Seuss' names would make us giggle. It's been a loving process that left good feelings about reading that has led him to enjoy reading stories under the covers with his headlamp, past bedtime.
I think that parents have the greatest amount of influence in teaching kids to love reading. Teachers can only do so much--they can teach them to read but they can't make them love it. Only a loving mom and/or dad can do that. (or grandma/grandpa/loving caregiver)
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:20 AM
 
2,920 posts, read 2,909,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
Ahhhhh! So is the log being used for learning or as a check system to keep kids and parents honest? I'm required to sign the log/response every night to verify that my child, did indeed, do the reading he claims he did.
And what are kids supposed to do whose parents work all night, travel, or who are otherwise unavailable? I'm opposed to grading students for what their parents do or don't do.

In our district, we have a significant number of children who are basically responsible for getting themselves up and to school every day. Some of them rarely see their parents or another responsible adult. Every child doesn't live in a nuclear family where the parents come home for work in time for supper, help with homework, bathtime, and a bedtime story. It doesn't seem fair to punish children for their parents' actions.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:30 PM
 
15,302 posts, read 16,854,240 times
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Hey, the logging is even difficult for my grandkids. They are at our house about 2 to 3 days per week and they have other activities to do. My granddaughter goes riding. My grandson is in therapy. They read, but we never keep track of the amount of time. So we cheat and estimate the time.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:41 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,508,248 times
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Reading comprehension exercises can be completed at school under the direction of a teacher. I do not believe in requiring young (elementary) students to log free reading or complete worksheets based on their leisure-time reading.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,399,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
I think that parents have the greatest amount of influence in teaching kids to love reading.

Absolutely. Reading has to be presented as enjoyable and fun from early on. Looooooong before school/reading class assignments.


As someone who teaches reading and language arts, I find that the parents who squawk the loudest about how activities that assess students' comprehension suck all the fun and enjoyment about reading are also the ones who will be the first to rip a teacher to shred for "not doing his/her job," i.e. teaching and assessing learning. "Teach my kid, but don't you dare make assignments that assess his or her learning, because it makes learning less fun if there's a formal assessment piece." It's a no-win thing.

Trust me...formally assessing reading comprehension isn't any more fun for reading and English teachers to do than it is for students to fill out worksheet after worksheet. I'd much rather just anecdotally assess student comprehension with a lively class discussion...but one runs into problems with that, as well. There are many ways to study literature that don't involve dry writing assignment after dry writing assignment, thankfully.

Also important to note is that many students who love reading also love to write. It's important to bear in mind that just because writing responses about what one has read is like pulling teeth for YOUR kid, it doesn't necessarily hold true that EVERY student hates writing about things they've read. Some kids love the chance to express themselves in that way.
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:57 PM
 
2,596 posts, read 4,642,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
And what are kids supposed to do whose parents work all night, travel, or who are otherwise unavailable? I'm opposed to grading students for what their parents do or don't do.

In our district, we have a significant number of children who are basically responsible for getting themselves up and to school every day. Some of them rarely see their parents or another responsible adult. Every child doesn't live in a nuclear family where the parents come home for work in time for supper, help with homework, bathtime, and a bedtime story. It doesn't seem fair to punish children for their parents' actions.
I agree with you in part on this. It is unfair. Certainly, children cannot pick the family they are born into. But even if we do sympathize with them, what then, is the alternative? Are those children any better off if we say, "Okay, because you're already at a disadvantage, we won't require you to do a reading log,"? You know the result of that. There's almost no chance they'll actually do the reading. They'll fall further and further behind those privileged kids with two attentive parents at home. So while I agree with you that life isn't fair, I have to wonder if the lesser of the two evils is at least trying to push those kids as far as they can go.
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Old 10-01-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
3,383 posts, read 6,847,772 times
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Just to throw something out there I was a big reader.

Example in 5th grade I did a book report on Stephen Kings Pet Cemetary. 6th grade I read most of Michael Creightons sci to books.

I read tons of sci fi, tons of fantasy, all books most for adults all while a kid. I did this on top of my normal reading.

Then highschool hit, I went to a great school forced tons of reading. Got me out of pleasure reading, since I had a lot of reading to do, some were good so they weren't bad, some were horrid, some were the common classics. Stories I have heard, seen in movies, Hell even in episodes of ducktails, simpsons, (basic storylines) and sitcoms over and over.

So I got dis interested, started buying cliffnotes, read the plot synopsis, not even the full cliffnotes and get B's on papers.


Last summer I took a lit class at a community college. , I didn't even read the books, cliffnotes or anything. I would participate in the class discussions, get enough info out of that to write papers, because they were classic stories that have been rehashed over and over. Helped I was a bit of a movie buff.

Got an A, in that class.


I do feel in schools, maybe not in lit or English classes teach . We need to teach kids to follow complex directions on paper. Like step by step instructions that require attention to detail, or failure.

Scary how its common notion people can't build IKEA furniture, or set program there vcr clock(if people still have them)



Sent from my autocorrect butchering device.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,399,524 times
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Speaking 100% for myself, I never experienced the whole, "If something is an assignment, that means it HAS TO SUCK" thing. Admittedly, I'm a lifelong lover of reading. I was read to from pre-birth on, I learned to read very, very young, and reading was and is a most popular form of recreation in the home. It was a no-brainer that I'd go on to become a reading and English teacher, in addition to becoming a professional writer.

That said, when the prevailing sensibility is that "When you assign something, you're giving the message that it's by nature unenjoyable, because having assignments sucks," that says a LOT about why so many students are, well, terrible students. So many people, including the adults in their lives, are all too willing to prop up the idea that if something's an expectation, it can't possibly be enjoyable. That's what "reading that's homework isn't reading that's fun," really means. If you're expected to do it, you're by nature going to hate it, by virtue of the expectation. Teach kids that that's some kind of truism, and they'll sure perpetuate that philosophy. It does kids a disservice to telegraph to them that reading is only fun if you do it as a leisure activity. Or that learning is only fun if there are no tests or assignments. Or that reading can't be done for pleasure if somebody told you to do it.

I have been assigned some wonderful literature to read, over the years. Much of what I've studied has been literature I've already read for pleasure, or always wanted to, but hadn't gotten to yet. Loving, oh, let's say To Kill a Mockingbird was loving To Kill a Mockingbird, no matter if it was when I read it while lounging on a hammock over the summer, or when I ready it at the request of my freshman English teacher. It didn't suddenly become odious because it was assigned. I don't know why people don't get that we do kids a disservice by projecting the mindset that assigned work sucks, by virtue of being assigned. All that mentality will do is breed a whole generation of people who can't and won't choose employment,etc. that they enjoy, because, to them, it's called "work," which means it can't possibly be enjoyable.
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