Today’s topic is all about how we, as teachers, can help build habits of reading in a student.
“Reading is a number of interactive processes between the reader and the text, in which readers use their knowledge to build, to create, and to construct meaning.”
Firstly, what is reading? We all know reading is an act, a skill, or a process involving word recognition, comprehension, and fluency. Recognition means to identify the words in print. Comprehension means to construct an understanding from them. Fluency means to coordinate, identify words, and make meaning.
To develop word recognition, kids need to learn phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, word study, decoding, prior knowledge, and interest; all of which are important to understand the text. To develop comprehension, children need to develop – background knowledge, oral and print vocabularies, various kinds of text, purposes of reading & strategies for constructing meaning. To develop fluency, students need to develop high level of accuracy, maintain a rate of reading, and use phrasing & expression.
Students often know how to read, they just don’t use effective strategies to get the full meaning from the text they read. Learning to read is all about listening and understanding as well as working out what is in the story. Children are exposed to a wide range of words through listening to stories. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read.
Reading benefits students academically and for lifelong success. Reading develops vocabulary, increases attention span, and promotes stronger analytical thinking. To improve students’ reading comprehension, teachers should introduce the seven cognitive strategies of effective readers: activating, inferring, monitoring-clarifying, questioning, searching-selecting, summarizing, and visualizing-organizing.
Secondly, here are the ways teachers can help to instil reading habits in a student:
- Exposure to authentic and level appropriate literature:
- Create a reading corner in the classroom for lower grades where students sit, read, and discuss course book stories with help. For upper grades, the students can bring their favourite book to share with each other during independent reading class.
- Give children easy access to books. There should be one class per week allocated for library period where the students are taken to the library for 40mins and should freely choose any book to read. Slowly the students will get up to grab a book even to look at the pictures. Let them explore by looking at the pictures, follow DIY books, or general knowledge books according to their level. Eventually the interest will develop by itself.
2. Encourage and support:
- Reading should be done in class every day, in groups and individually. Encourage students to reread when they don’t understand, stopping to think about how the reading relates to their own life & experiences.
- When going for field trips let them read road signs to show them reading is everywhere.
- When students inquire about a specific genre, encourage them, and support them. The library should lend those books for a week or 10 days, this will help your child apply reading to everyday life to increase interest in reading.
- Play word games reinforcing effort & providing recognition.
3. Model the use of visuals and Graphic Organizers: in upper classes, provide graphic organizers on fiction and nonfiction so that they can evaluate the book according to their perspective and encourage them to keep a log. It helps them to make connections. Use brainstorming to identify prior knowledge & interests or experience. Make use of cues like pictures, graphs, and charts. Use clips from videos that emphasize concepts.
- Show them animated movies with subtitles.
- Use songs to build phonemic awareness.
- Retell what is read orally or in written form. React or imitate what they’ve read i.e. role play. Turn the headings & subheadings into questions to focus their reading.
- At home, they can have a reading night-time routine because students who read 20 minutes a day outside of school tend to have improved language skills, a better understanding of language.
These were some steps through which any student will get into a habit of reading and enjoying reading.
Lastly, I like to thank Huma and Nazish for giving me this opportunity and for making today’s blog and YouTube video possible. Yes, you will find this article on my YouTube channel as well. So, don’t forget to head back and watch it at https://www.youtube.com/princessofpeaceable
Stay safe and stay connected!