How can we get students to read more?

1. Incorporate at least 15 minutes of sustained silent reading once a week. Elicit summaries and reactions to the material. Build upon student responses to stimulate discussion.

2. Vary reading approaches during the lesson. The teacher might read some of the material aloud as a way to enliven the material. Call on a few students to read aloud. Engage students in some silent reading, followed by direct questioning.

3. Encourage students to do supplementary reading, especially "reading for pleasure." Have them maintain a journal of what they read which includes a short summary of each chapter and reaction to the material.

4. Have students read material in advance. Provide a few focus questions so that they come in prepared for a discussion.

5. In anticipation of the fact that some students may not have read the material, choose a few passages to go over in class so they can get the "gist."

6. Focus students on key vocabulary in the text. Encourage them to figure out the meaning of words as they are used in context.

7. Assign new vocabulary in advance. Students might be asked to look up the meanings and maintain them in a personal glossary.

8. When assigning reading from a text, especially for HW, provide a short writing assignment to help ensure that students do it. (e.g., Write a summary or a reaction to the material).

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