Improve Student Engagement Through Effective Reading Strategies and Interactive Activities
Karen S. DiBella
Motivating & Engaging Students for Lifelong Literacy
Now, more than ever, students need to be nurtured, encouraged, and given a purpose and motivation to read. Educators play a significant role in the motivation and engagement of their students. Living in an age of technology amid games and vast forms of multimedia and social media entertainment, reading faces a daily struggle to compete; however, multiple strategies can and should be used to motivate all students to read in today’s classrooms. Teachers should be cultivating lifelong readers through literacy pedagogy and promoting a love of reading, which can be life changing for students. Ivanna Read™ presents effective reading strategies and interactive hands-on activities to use in the classroom to help motivate and engage all students!
Making Connections to Text
Making connections to personal experiences facilitates deeper understanding. We know that good readers read for meaning and understanding. They are critical readers who make connections with the text throughout the reading. This skill improves the level of comprehension as well as helps engage the reader. There are three types of connections that readers make with a text; first is a connection to self, second is making a connection to another text, and third, a reader makes a connection between the text and the world (events, news, etc.). Making text connections requires a higher level of inquiry and active engagement on behalf of the reader, which ultimately deepens comprehension and overall understanding.
Support, Model, & Transform
The key component in motivating students to read is to provide them with a purpose to read. It is imperative to share a genuine interest and knowledge of literature as well as activate and build prior knowledge and provide support so students can immerse themselves in their reading. It is equally important for educators to scaffold students’ ability to interpret texts from multiple perspectives and points of view, be purposeful and reflective, as well as create an environment that promotes curiosity and inquiry. Finally, teachers need to model effective reading strategies. In doing so, students are able to see how good readers become active and engaged in text. Utilizing multiple supports and modeling effective strategies can transform student learning and overall achievement!
Reading & Thinking Aloud
While there are several strategies teachers can model to impact literacy, two of the most critical strategies are reading aloud as well as thinking aloud. In reading aloud, teachers can model how to read fluently, without stopping for decoding, as well as modeling intonation during reading. Active read alouds provide students with opportunities to explore visual imagery, build vocabulary, and improve comprehension. While reading aloud, teachers should engage in modeling how to think aloud as well. Here, a teacher will actively engage with the text and verbalize their thinking as they are reading, using a multitude of strategies. In order to maximize the benefits of think aloud strategies, teachers should model such strategies before, during, and after the reading, which provides full supports for students.