View Full Version : Reading help

October 23rd, 2009, 08:37
I have two reading classes. As far as I can tell, the purpose of these lessons is to have the students read things. One of the classes has five students, and the other one has 20. Whenever I ask either class for volunteers to read something, nobody wants to. Whenever we've finished reading something, and I ask for volunteers to try to understand what it means, nobody wants to.

But I noticed the other day, when there were just two students (because the other students were off sick), that they were quite happy to read through a difficult passage, and then really work at teasing out the meaning from context. It would appear that even with just five people in the room, it creates some weird peer pressure that prevents them from trying.

So how do I get 20, or even just five, students to act like the two students?

Is there any sort of game or activity that will actually force my students to read something, and to try to work out its meaning by themselves?

October 23rd, 2009, 10:29
How old are they? Bribing with stickers works if your students are below the age of 20.

October 23rd, 2009, 10:35
They're third year SHS students.

My classes with them are fine when I play team games with them - pictionary, or the sleeping game or whatever. But as soon as I ask them to actually read something, they just clam up, assuming that it is too difficult for them, and assuming, for example, that if they see a word that they don't understand it renders the whole thing incomprehensible.

October 23rd, 2009, 10:43
Split the articles into a fwe paragraphs. Take a paragraph and print it onto big paper. Stick it outside the classroom. Students are in pairs, one runs outside and tries to remember the paragraph, then runs to their partner and dicates it to them. Continue until everyone's done. Winner gets a sticker.

Sounds like your kids want more fun. Turn things into games, or tell them if they complete a certain reading task, they can have a game.

October 23rd, 2009, 12:48
I appreciate the advice, and I have considered that game, but I think the problem with it is that it doesn't require comprehension, just memorisation.

I would like them to realise that the act of reading can actually be fun. When the pair of students managed to work out what was going on in the passage they were reading, they got a real buzz. You could see it. I think that buzz is self-sustaining: the act of working something out for yourself is something that creates its own buzz, I think.

That's the buzz I want to give them, rather than the buzz of coming first at remembering something, or drawing a picture on the board or whatever. I want, somehow, to find an activity that gets these kids actually thinking about what they are reading. I really can't think of one.

October 23rd, 2009, 13:10
Depending on my group of students, I read the passage first for them and go over difficult words. Then I ask them to take turns reading. If no one volunteers, I call on someone and they'll read it.

The readings I give usually have comprehension questions at the end so I give them time to work on those on their own (after reading the questions and making sure they understand). After they finish writing their answers, we review them as a class.

I used to have to call on them to read, but now they just volunteer more reasily.

(This is a 3rd year SHS class of 9 students.)

October 23rd, 2009, 23:14
Maybe have a passage that describes an item or situation, then have them draw the item? Put drawings on the board and judge them for accuracy and skill and give the winner a prize.

October 24th, 2009, 03:30
um... pair off the whole class and take them out to the corridor in pairs while your jte watches the rest of the class?