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Best Practices in Reading Motivation! Kristen Anderson! ECI 540! North Carolina State University!

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What are the best practices for increasing student reading motivation? Guthrie

(2011) says that motivation is the values, beliefs, and behaviors surrounding reading. (p. 177) Motivation involves a students desire to read and the effort they are willing to put into. Reading motivation is important because it has a direct impact on student success. One report that did a study across 64 countries found that students who enjoyed reading the most performed signicantly better than students who enjoyed reading the least (Gambrell, 2011, p.172). When students are motivated to read they will read more and get more out of it, causing their reading ability to increase. An increase in reading achievement can lead to more condent readers who in turn are more motivated to continue to read. The scary part of reading motivation is that the same study mentioned about also reported that 37% of students said that they did not read for enjoyment at all (Gambrell, 2011, p. 172). In order to ensure our students success we have to get them interested in reading. Several key elements of reading motivation are explained below.! ! Insuring that readings are relevant will increase student reading motivation.

Students want to read materials that involve their areas of interests and that relate to their lives or other learning. Students are going to put more effort into reading if the materials and related activities are of interest to them (Brozo & Flynt, 2008, p.173). Teachers should look for texts that are relevant to their students interests. One way to learn more about what excites your students is to conduct an interest inventory as suggested by Protacio (2012). Edmunds & Bausermann (2006) also suggest the use of a three-piece kit that consists of three different text types, concerning a popular classroom topic or unit of study, that are placed in a bag together in order to be readily



available for students to select for independent reading. Relevance is key in every area of instruction, make sure the required reading matters to the students.! ! A wide range of options is another element that impacts reading motivation.

While selecting relevant texts for your students is important it is also essential that students are provided some choice in selecting texts for themselves and are provided access to abundant reading materials. The option of choosing a book for yourself is invaluable in increasing your desire to read that texts. In a study that asked students to talk about a positive reading experience 84% of students shared about a narrative text that they had chosen themselves, leaving only 16% who discussed a teacher selected texts (Edmunds & Bausermann, 2006, p. 417. As adults, we know that we are much more motivated to read something that we sought out ourselves, we cannot expect our students to be any different. In order to encourage variety in reading, Edmunds & Bausermann (2006) suggest the use of self-discovery bookmarks that ask students to check off genres as they read them so that they can be aware of what other genres they should look into (p.421). Give students opportunities to select texts that are relevant to their interests.! ! A sense of success will increase student reading motivation. Everyone is more

motivated to participate in activities that they perform well in. Reading is no exception to this. Students who experience success with reading have a better view of reading overall (Protacio, 2012, p.71) Teachers should provide students with accessible texts and with needed support in order to help them be successful. However, providing leveled texts is not enough. Gambrell (2011) says that all students want to be viewed as reading challenging texts (p.176). This means that care needs to be taken to provide



texts that do not look like baby books. It also means that teachers need to thoughtful in their wording in relation to various reading groups and labeling of book containers in the library. For example, it is much better to label books as hard, harder, and hardest as opposed to easy, medium, and hard (Gambrell, 2011, p.176) When students feel successful l their condence will rise and so will their desire to attempt more difcult challenges.! ! The number one motivator of students in all academic areas is the opportunity for

collaboration. When students in one study were asked about what motivated them to read Edmunds and Bausermann (2006) stated that the frequently mentioned [peers] when asked how they found out about a book and when asked who motivated them to read. (p. 421) In our classrooms, it is important to allow students ample opportunities to discuss books with each other and to share book they have read with the class. Book discussions have a two-fold benet. Not only are readers more motivated, but comprehension is increased as the students learn from one anothers points of view (Protacio, 2012, p.72). Collaboration between teachers and students can also be motivating. Brozo and Flynt (2008) said student motivation increases when teachers are their allies in the reading and learning process (pg. 173). Show your students that you can by helping them select engaging texts, supporting the reading process and. being interested in their thoughts on what they are reading! ! A nal important element in increasing reading motivation is providing sustained

reading time in the classroom. Students should spend a signicant amount of time each day immersed in text, and a portion of that time should be devoted to self-selected pieces. The classroom should be rich in reading material and opportunities and reading



should be a part of all curriculum areas. Gambrell (2011) suggests that you work up to a sustained amount of reading time by starting small. Set aside just 10 minutes a day for self-selected reading time and increase it as students are ready. Increased time in text will increase students reading condence and through that, continue to increase their motivation.! ! Based on the research I have done concerning what creates motivated readers I

designed a research project that would allow me to experiment with some of these components. Working with three 4th grade teachers, I gathered two small groups of students whose teachers felt needed an increase in reading motivation. I met with the groups twice a week and students were able to read their selected texts everyday during a teacher provided independent reading block.! ! I designed a project that combined the elements of relevance, option, and

collaboration in an effort to amp up the interest and effort students were willing to put into their independent reading time. With my group of selected students we started a blog that would allow us to discuss the books via blog posts and comments. This added relevance to the project because it connected to the types of technologies they saw being used in the word around themseveral students commented that it gave them the opportunity to communicate in a way similar to Facebook. I gathered together six different texts that I felt had interesting characters and plots and that would be accessible for students at or below a fourth grade reading level. The group members were then able to pick the text that was most interesting to them, with more than one person reading each text. Finally, the back and forth discussion that was allowed by the formatting of the blog and comments section encouraged collaboration among the



students. They were encouraged to pose question for one another and respond to each others reections.! ! I was able to learn a lot from this experience which had some areas of success

and some of failure. The students denitely looked forward to their participation in the group. They eagerly grabbed their supplies and hurried to me when the time came for our group to met. Eagerly, the would log in and read and respond to what classmates had written. However, their motivation seemed to break down when they returned to class. They got very little read on the days between our meetings and never made any posts. I am not sure whether the problem was just that I was not in the classrooms with them as a daily reminder or whether they activities simply did not motivated them. It may be that they needed more structure to the assignments that I could provide with further planning.! ! I have seen that this project has the potential to benet the students, but needs

continued work before it can have a lasting impact. A more structured plan, and pre teaching of reading response styles could both benet this project. I also think that having the groups of students consistently with me within a regular classroom setting would help me to focus them more and to remind them of the exciting work they have to do during independent reading time. It may also be good to provide an even wider range of selection, perhaps including nonction texts, so that students interests will denitely be considered. ! ! In the future, I look forward to experimenting more with what I have learned about

reading motivation. Every group of students is different, and I plan to keep that in mind as I adapt my teaching to meet the needs of each student. My hope is that I can use



what I learn during each experience and through continued research to craft a classroom that encourages enthusiastic readers to blossom.#



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Brozo, W. G. & Flynt, E. S. (2008). Motivating Student to read in the content classroom: Six evidence-based principles. The Reading Teacher, 62(2), 172-174! Edmunds, K. M. & Bauserman, K. L. (2006). What teachers can learn about reading ! motivation through conversations with children. The Reading Teacher, 59(5), ! 414-424! Gambrell, L. B. (2011). Seven rules of engagement: Whats most important to know about motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 55(3), 172-178! Guthrie, J. T. (2011). Best practices in motivating students to read. In L. M. Morrow & L. B. Gambrell (Eds.), Best practices in literacy instruction (pp.177-198). New York: The Guilford Press.! Protacio, M. S. (2012). Reading motivation: A focus on English learners. The Reading Teacher, 66(1), 69-77!