Reading Ideas That Worked

Encouraging Student Reading and Literacy

In this video we look at what the research says and also offer a great number of tips for Parents and Teachers. Play video

What the research says:

  1. Reading ability and feelings toward reading are related.
  2. Forcing children to read yields poor results.

Tips for parents to encourage reading:

  1. Be Role Models- Read often with children and on your own.
  2. Book Allowances- You can use the library or purchase new books for your children to their liking.
  3. Assure Kids That Read Has a Purpose- Reading is not a chore. We read to gain insight into things we don't understand.
  4. Read Aloud- Family reading nights are great!
  5. Create a family newsletter, web site, and/or blog- Kids love to use technology. Technology requires a great deal of reading.

Tips for teachers to encourage reading:

  1. Encourage Student Pen Pal Exchanges- Check our message board. Teachers are constantly meeting other Pen Pal classes that way.
  2. Reading Scavenger Hunt- When students read in a competitive setting, you would be surprised how fast they retain information.
  3. Read & Share- Have students share their thoughts with the class.
  4. Class Newspaper- This allow students to further explore their interests.
  5. Class Web Site- Have students manage an updated record of what is going on in your class. If anyone is absent, it really helps.
  6. Organize a Book Exchange- Week 1: Students bring in as many used books as they would like. They receive 1 credit for each book they bring in. Week 2: For every credit the students have they can take one book from the exchange.

How to Learn New Vocabulary Words Quickly

Learning new vocabulary words can be accelerated if you study using a method that caters to your learning style. Visual learners learn words best by seeing words repeatedly. Auditory learners learn words best by hearing words repetitively. Kinesthetic learners learn words best by writing words repetitively.Visual learners should: Play video

Learning new vocabulary words can be accelerated if you study using a method that caters to your learning style. Visual learners learn words best by seeing words repeatedly. Auditory learners learn words best by hearing words repetitively. Kinesthetic learners learn words best by writing words repetitively.

Visual learners should:

  1. use flashcards.
  2. Play Post-it vocabulary memory games.
  3. work with various word puzzles.
  4. draw pictures of words often.
Auditory learners should:
  1. read the words and definitions aloud.
  2. record themselves saying the words and definitions. They should then playback these recordings.
Kinesthetic learners should:
  1. look at the word and definition . Cover up the word and definition. Then, try to write the word and definition. Students should then check their work and repeat.
  2. make their own word puzzles and collaborate with visual learners.

Teaching Idea

Summer Reading Lists

Looking for a Summer Reading Lists Program? We created one for you.


Teaching Idea

"Cherry Pie"
John Kuchma, Teacher

"I have the students get in a circle. I say the word (Pie) The person I pick says the word. The next 3 people spell it. The 4th person says Cherry Pie the 5th person in line sits in their seat. If the students misspell the word they sit down. Use it for spelling."

Teaching Idea

"AR: Accelerated Reader"
Louise Haines, Floyd M. Jewett Elementary

"I also use Accelerated Reader. This is my 4th year and it gets better all the time. I schedule 60 minutes of reading per day, 50 of it independent. The students must earn 80-100% on the comprehension test of the book they read, to earn a ticket. On Friday, I roll a dice and draw that number of tickets from the TOPS jar. I teach second grade and before Christmas break I had four SUPER readers and four INDEPENDENT readers. When we reach those certification goals, students call their parents from the classroom. If they can't be reached at home, we call them at work! Parents don't mind. Matter of fact, we haven't had to make any behavior calls because we are too busy reading and making positive phone calls!"

Teaching Idea

Family Reading Night
Diedre, 2nd Grade Teacher: Springfield, Missouri

"To encourage families to read together and help children understand that reading is respected by all ages, try the following idea. Purchase 4 bookbags that are unique. Fill these bags with books of various reading levels and interests. Every day 4 children get to take these home to share with their families. It will be Family Reading Night at their home. Everyone can read a book, but the entire family has to do this together. It can be silent reading or reading a story out loud. It can take 20 minutes to accomplish. The bookbag is brought back the next day and 4 more children take them home. With 20 students in your class , each child would have a chance every week to take the bags home. You can adjust this to your class size and family situations. You may even get families to donate books that their children no longer read! You can ask a parent to check in the bookbags each morning to inventory for you and assign the next students who will get the bags that night. You don�t have to do all the work."

Teaching Idea

"The Alphabet Elephant"
Angela Ross, Primary Teacher

"I use a large stuffed elephant as a motivator in an alphabet/phonics game to encourage students to share their thoughts. We call him the "Alphabet Elephant".

I pretend that the elephant whispers letters to me and tell the class that the Elephant wants to hear a word that starts with a certain letter. I choose the letter at random. I then ask for volunteers to share words with the class that start with that letter. Students that wish to share a word hold the elephant while saying the word.

This really encourages students to share their thoughts."

Teaching Idea

Warm Up Activities
Antonio Cobo Rodriguez, High School Teacher, Colombia

"I have students review vocabulary by row. Every row of students is a team and every student has a responsibility within the team or row. I say a category and have students write as many related words as they can. The team with most complete and accurate number of words wins. It is quick and fun."


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