Reading Strategies New & Old

Reading strategies have been around and utilized for a very long time and they continue to evolve. Sarah Gonser’s “4 Reading Strategies to Retire This Year (Plus 6 to Try Out!)” article points out just that. Some of these ol’ reliable reading strategies that are still being used may not be as effective as we once thought. However, there are new approaches and methods that are proven to work better than previous strategies.

Mandatory reading logs is one strategy that has been around for a long time. However, research has shown a decline in interest of students toward the selected reading because these reading logs forced kids to read instead of encouraging them to read voluntarily. Oral reading, if done correctly, is proven to improve a student’s literary understanding, but Round Robin Reading, Popcorn Reading, Combat Reading, and Popsicle Reading are not useful strategies because they tend to hurt a student’s comprehension, fluency, and pronunciation. Also, awarding kids prizes for reading is only a short-term help to get students to read. These prizes don’t create reading habits and can actually decrease the desire to read for those that already like to read.

Choral reading has shown improvements in fluency because in this strategy the teacher and the class all read a passage aloud together. This causes less stress on those kids that have difficulty reading because they don’t feel the pressure of the entire class judging their ability to read. Silent reading is one strategy that is still useful to this day, however it can be used more effectively by introducing new vocabulary that is in their book or giving a brief explanation of the plot before the students begin reading. Also, a teacher reading aloud to the class can be very beneficial to even the most uninterested kids, because this allows the teacher to better explain the idea and feeling of the story simply through their intonations and stopping briefly to ask what is going on in the story. This helps the students understand the story so much more and keeps them interested, invested, and curious.

The goal of retiring these old strategies and implementing new ones is to keep kids motivated and interested in reading. Providing students with books that they can get a real, emotional connection to will encourage them to read recreationally and tackle more challenging reads. We have to provide kids with more literature that can personally reflect them. Once we do that then they will enjoy reading and will seek out different books that can introduce them to new, unfamiliar, and wonderful worlds.

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