“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” –Mason Cooley
Did you ever think that teachers had to come up with ways to teach their students that reading could be fun? Or did you ever know that teachers cater to individual students interests and likes to get them hooked on reading?
Reading is important. That is a simple fact of life and teachers are the persons who teach this important life skill. However, does anyone really stop to think as to how teachers turn struggling readers or unwilling readers into fluent readers who can’t seem to stop reading? They have strategies of course! Teaching reading strategies is how teachers train students to use simple tricks and skills that they will continue using with every book they read. In this blog we’ll briefly go over book tastings and how they encourage students to read for a purpose as well as comprehension.
The first method is the classic idea of a “Book Tasting.” The idea is simple; give students a quick way to become engaged with a variety of genres. By giving them a short amount of time (usually around 5 minutes) students can familiarize themselves with the text and begin reading without becoming overloaded by the content. During those five minutes students work on fine tuning the reading skill which the teacher has chosen for that day, whether that skill be author bias, transitions, emotions, usage of literary devices, interesting facts, important facts, etc. After five minutes the students switch books and move onto a new text while still working on the same skill. This allows them to have short snippets of time with different types of text with varying degrees of readability. (For more information on what a book tasting looks like, watch the video below, or follow this link: https://youtu.be/QKUjKExvT0Q)
Now how do teachers know what books to include in a book tasting or in their own classroom libraries? Teachers use a variety of different interest inventories to base instruction on the interests of the student. When you think about it, it’s easier to teach a student using a text from a genre they enjoy. If you can get your student to enjoy the subject, the actual instruction will be less like pulling teeth and closer but still not quite a piece of cake.
Can you make reading exciting for a struggling reader or unwilling reader in your life?