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Old 10-01-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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Please note that this thread was started in 2011
A recent thread has been sidetracked into talking about how to get children to read for enjoyment but also for comprehension. Many teachers use reading logs that require students to fill out worksheets every time they read a book.
It's been argued that this sucks the pleasure out of reading but it makes sense as a method to reading comprehension. Does reading enjoyment just come with time?

What do you think is the best way to encourage children to read for pleasure and with comprehension?
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Last edited by toobusytoday; Today at 05:08 PM..
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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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?
I think that we have to allow kids to read what they want to read. If that is a magazine, the sports section, whatever, let them read what they like and not what we deem worthy of them reading. If kids like websites about certain subjects, let them read that. It does not have to be a book to be enjoyable.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Reading books for school is not pleasure reading, plain and simple. It is homework. For those that get upset over logs and having to do journals, oh well, it is part of the learning process. Heaven forbid we expect our kids to actually understand what they have read .


As for true pleasure reading, if your child is having difficulty with comprehension, have them read easier books. Any teacher will tell you that pushing kids to read books that are too difficult is a bad idea. Easier books increase comprehension and reading speed. Most good reading teachers will have kids read easy books, books at their level and more difficult books to push them.

I do know that the more you push kids to read at home, the less they are going to like it. Any reading is good for kids, cereal boxes, comic books, whatever. Our oldest HATED to read. He would pretty much only read the cheat books for video games. We had him tested, for other issues, and he tested out as a junior in college reading level when he was in 5th grade. His 7th grade teacher somehow turned him on to reading and he now loves to read--we stayed out of it. His junior year in high school his ENGLISH teacher told him to stop reading so much (because he was reading novels in class when he was supposed to be doing other things).
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Reading books for school is not pleasure reading, plain and simple. It is homework. For those that get upset over logs and having to do journals, oh well, it is part of the learning process. Heaven forbid we expect our kids to actually understand what they have read .
My kid's nightly reading is specifically supposed to be designed to get kids reading for ENJOYMENT every day. They get to pick the books they read, though the reading material does need to be chapter books/novels.

If the goal is to get kids to read for enjoyment, the reading log/response is negating the goal IMO.

Golfgal, is the head smack really necessary?
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wsop View Post
My kid's nightly reading is specifically supposed to be designed to get kids reading for ENJOYMENT every day. They get to pick the books they read, though the reading material does need to be chapter books/novels.

If the goal is to get kids to read for enjoyment, the reading log/response is negating the goal IMO.

Golfgal, is the head smack really necessary?
Yes it is and it is still homework. How exactly do you expect the teachers to verify that the kids actually did the reading??
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:28 AM
 
613 posts, read 817,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
A recent thread has been sidetracked into talking about how to get children to read for enjoyment but also for comprehension. Many teachers use reading logs that require students to fill out worksheets every time they read a book.
It's been argued that this sucks the pleasure out of reading but it makes sense as a method to reading comprehension. Does reading enjoyment just come with time?

What do you think is the best way to encourage children to read for pleasure and with comprehension?
I see nothing wrong with nightly reading as HW; in fact, it's the most important HW if you ask me. I think allowing children to choose their own reading material helps.

I think the purpose of reading logs/responses is more to keep the kids and parents honest and for the books that are being read for enjoyment, I don't agree with them. Better to let kids have a verbal discussion about a book, or maybe even their own little online chat discussing a book. Another idea is instead of daily responses, how about a book review when done. Then all book reviews can be placed in a class book for other kids to look through when trying to find a book to read.

Reading for comprehension, IMO, should start small with short stories for example, with comprehension the specific goal.

Bit when it comes to Reading for enjoyment, let the kids truly enjoy it rather than having the response hanging over their head the whole time.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Yes it is and it is still homework. How exactly do you expect the teachers to verify that the kids actually did the reading??
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.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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I think that teachers are the ones who can help with comprehension. Reading for enjoyment; not so much. But if they can't comprehend what they're reading they'll never enjoy it. One of the best exercises that teachers can do to help comprehension is to do reader's theatre type exercises with the kids. When it is time for the child to read, they are to really "vamp it up" and make it dramatic. The teacher can tell instantly whether the child gets what he's reading by this method and since it's such small passages at a time, it's not overwhelming for the majority of kids. Even while reading stories in the class, the teacher can have them act it out to teach them to read with expression.

A true story about this: I work with a young man who can't comprehend anything he reads, due to learning disabilities. This same disability runs all thru his family and his grandpa has it too. His g-pa could read the words on the page but he could not tell you what they meant. Then suddenly, poof, at 78, something switched on in his brain and he was able to understand what he read. He said it was like a huge mental switch but he couldn't tell what made it. Now he reads for pleasure all the time and loves it.

As for the difficulty of the books, there's a way to tell if a book is too difficult for a student and it has something to do with not understanding a certain percentage of the vocab, but many kids push past this with no problem, depending on how good they are at reading the context and how good their comprehension is. I tend to think that sets of books with large numbers of books in it are not good for moving them along. A good example is the Goosebumps series. There must be at least 50 books in that set and if a student spends a year or two reading them, she won't be any further along in her reading skills than she was when she started.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:02 AM
 
613 posts, read 817,846 times
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Originally Posted by stepka View Post
I tend to think that sets of books with large numbers of books in it are not good for moving them along. A good example is the Goosebumps series. There must be at least 50 books in that set and if a student spends a year or two reading them, she won't be any further along in her reading skills than she was when she started.
Very good point, and one I never thought of. I've had a hard time finding books that interest my son. His teacher sends home books from her library and I buy him books on similar level that I think he will like.

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!

Anyway, he just started "The Hunger Games". My dd loved it and now I'm hoping my son at least likes it. Just wish he didn't have to write a response every night.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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If you take 100 kids, you'll find some at the high end of the spectrum that will read for enjoyment no matter what you do. You can't pry a book from their hands and they'll be the ones you catch up past their bedtime reading with a flashlight under the covers. Those are going to do fine no matter what the teacher does. For them, the assignment is irrelevant or perhaps a passing nuisance, but it really doesn't hurt them either.

Then you've got some kids in the middle who would read occasionally, but if they could choose any activity for pleasure, it would more likely be video games or physical activity, or whatever floats their boat. But, they still care about good grades and so they increase their reading time from the bare minimum they would do naturally to the amount prescribed at school. For those kids, maybe it does make a difference. Many kids don't like eating veggies or learning math either, but those things result in better long-term results so pushing them makes sense overall.

Then you've got the kids at the bottom end of the spectrum. They're there for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are growing up in a house without any books. Maybe they just hate reading. Maybe reading is hard for them. Maybe their parents don't speak English and they've had to catch up from day one. For some of those kids, if they weren't required to read for school, they would almost never read by choice, and would fall further behind every year. For those kids, a reading log requirement may be the only real reading they do.
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