Reading Motivation & Instruction

Tips and Strategies for Success and Engagement!

An Introduction - Reading Motivation for Low Performing & Unengaged Readers

Tell me and I’ll listen. Show me and I’ll watch. Involve me and I’ll learn.

~Teton Lakota~

Providing students with opportunities to discuss and think about their learning helps them to make connections and gain deeper meaning. Richard Elmore of Harvard University states, “unless we change students’ responsibility for learning and the kind of work they are asked to do, our other initiatives are unlikely to have much impact on student achievement”. Therefore we as educators should create opportunities for students to take responsibility for their learning in engaging and motivating ways. Through this professional development, our goal is to provided teachers with researched based strategies and techniques that will aid in improving student engagement, discourse, and comprehension.

VideoScribe on John Hattie's Visible Learning

********************TOPIC: LOW PERFORMING STUDENTS********************

Cooperative Learning

Students are social beings who need the interaction that cooperative groups give. Cooperative Learning can be used as successfully in reading instruction as it is in for example, math and science. Low performing students benefit from peer tutoring and gain confidence with the support cooperative learning strategies give. Instructional strategies such as cooperative learning and student-centered instruction, aid in building a trusting environment and relationships between the teacher and peers. Educating students, especially African American males, is a complex process involving big-picture considerations and specific instructional strategies. Hudley & Quinn (2002) state numerous research studies on cooperative learning found improvements in academic achievement, behavior and attendance, self-confidence and motivation, and school and classmate satisfaction. Cooperative learning engages the students in the learning and can eliminate disengagement.
Cooperative Learning gives students a chance to...
*Make decisions and choices
*Practice negotiation, social skills and problem solving with others
*Learn to collaborate and work with others' strengths
Cooperative Learning

Student Discourse

Have students FREQUENTLY "turn and talk" about their reading. You must teach the technique of turning to meaningfully talk about a specific piece of the learning with another student. First, create class expectations about what "Turn and Talk" looks like in your classroom. Students should speak to an "elbow" or other nearby partner briefly about a given topic you request that they discuss. When you request they stop and return attention to you, it should be immediate. These are brief bursts of conversation meant to help students internalize learning. Practice the procedure often for best results.
Talking with others about their learning and thinking increases confidence and provides validity. Giving students the opportunity to share their thinking increases understanding according to Routman (2003). Not only does it provide support, especially for struggling readers, but they gain perspective of other viewpoints. This leads to great discussion and use of the text.
TIPS...During "Turn and Talk" students should...
1. Speak in a quiet voice since so many are speaking at once
2. Discuss the given topic meaningfully
3. All participate fully
4. Stay on topic
5. Stop the discussion as soon as the signal is given
Introduction Strategies Turn and Talk
Turn and Talk

Metacognitive Strategies

"We need to teach the reader, not just the reading. We want children to be lifelong learners who read actively and independently across the curriculum, who engage their minds and understand what they read.” (Harvey, Goudvis, 2011)

Teachers cannot assume that students know how to "think about their thinking" and must purposefully teach metocognitive thinking. Modeling is one of the easiest, most effective ways to accomplish this. During read alouds, simply model your "reader thinking" aloud with phrases that point out important information, make connections, ask high level questions and describe main ideas. Once you have introduced students to this concept, have them practice with a partner while noting their thinking along the edge of the text or on sticky notes.
"The goal of comprehension instruction is to develop a sense of conscious control, or metacognitive awareness, over a set of strategies that they can adapt to any text they read." (Dole, 1991) Students often do not realize when they have lost their way or how to get back on track once they have. Routman explains, "many studies have been done that show that readers are unaware of how they comprehend" (Routman, 2003)
TIPS...As they read have students....
  1. Mark tracks, connections, big ideas and "WOWs" (new information) as they read
  2. Pay attention to text features and use them to improve comprehension
  3. Generate "how" and "why" questions about the text
  4. Make inferences and state evidence for their thinking

Higher Level Questioning

Higher Order Thinking skills and questioning have been buzz words in education for many years. Teachers are often counseled regarding the use of higher level questioning and certainly in general, more teachers ask deeper level questions than in the past. Teachers should continue to use deeper how and why inquiry questions in student learning experiences but also teach students how to ask such questions.

Student-generated questions are rarely used, even though they have been shown to lead to deeper levels of text processing” (Dole, 1991, p. 246). Students need to be taught how to generate questions that go beyond the surface of the text. We want our students to think beyond the literal and think at higher levels. One way to promote this in your classroom is to evaluate questions together. Have students write their questions down from the reading on sticky notes. Project a few of the questions and model how the question can be formulated to promote deeper thinking. In this activity, you are using the students’ work and thinking as a teaching tool. The students love to see their own work used in the classroom or part of a lesson.

Higher Order Questioning

**********TOPIC: Unengaged, unmotivated readers**********

Book Clubs

The construct of social reading may help students hold interest in reading even if they are not individually motivated to read. This type of engagement or interest is called situational interest. (Renninger, 2000) Pull students into reading by offering them a social context in which to do so. Book clubs are a popular reading instructional tool.

Book Clubs work for both narrative and expository texts. For expository text, teachers do not always have sets of the same text for students to share. However, this can be fixed by creating tubs of books related to the same topic such as habitats. Have students meet as a “Topic Tub Club” and read different books about arctic habitats while others read about desert habitats. Have students gather information about their topic then later present it to the class.

“If students do not engage with the text content, the likelihood of them learning is severely restricted.” (Ainley, 2005) The social aspect of book clubs helps to maintain focus and engagement. Provide students with strong, established guidelines and procedures you have practiced many times. Because of their engagement with books they have chosen, they will soon operate independently and responsibly.

TIPS for Book Club Operations...

1. Offer students CHOICE in the book titles they read

2. Offer students a variety of book mini project choices for providing the class with weekly updates

3. Make your group behavior and participation expectations clear

4. Have students create a end of book project from a list of choices

Classroom Book Clubs: Literature Circles Made Easy

Literacy project resource

Give Students a Choice of Literacy Projects

Giving students choice almost guarantees they will be interested in the topic! Half your battle is won when students are engaged. "Interest is an essential facet of motivation. For students to be motivated to engage in learning tasks, they must be interested in the topic or task." (Hidi & Boscolo, 2006)
Book reports as many adults knew them in elementary school have disappeared. Today's students need fresh, engaging and multimedia literacy project ideas. Consider having a grid of choices available to students for both weekly book talk updates and for book ending products in the student's book club folder. Allow students to choose both the title and the type of work they would like to complete as a reflection of their knowledge of the book.
Some literacy product choices might include technology involved products such as slide shows and multimedia presentations using one of many online tools such as Prezi. Students might also choose to act out a scene, write a poem, perform an original song, create a collage or write a journal in the voice of one of the main characters.
When students have choice and control over the titles they choose and the products they wish to complete, literacy products become meaningful and successful.

Reading Options Using Technology

Technology provides another means through which teachers can engage reluctant readers. On sites such as, many stories are available for students to read online and some offer an audio option as well as author biographies. On other sites such, celebrity readers read aloud to children.
Another technology option: any video with the capability to show closed captioned text has the potential to be a highly engaging mentor text.(Strassman, MacDonald, Wanko, 2010). The internet provides a wealth of educational videos. As soon as you turn on closed captioning you not only have video but expository text too. It provides a moving picture book of sorts.
TIPS for utilizing technology options for reading...
1. Use for independent reading centers
2. Use whole group and project
3. Monitor students to be sure they are really reading and comprehending
4. Have students use a reflection journal to write about what they are reading online as a method of accountability
5. Provide a list of general reading questions in the reflection journal to prompt students when reflecting on reading

TEACHER TO DO LIST ...please! :)

1. Take the PreAssessment that was emailed to you
2. Attend the Professional Development Meeting for Moore/Stover PLEASE!
3. Implement just ONE strategy you saw for at least the next week.
4. After a week, please answer the reflection questions that we send you.
5. After ten days complete the survey that we send you.
***Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!***

Best Practices in Reading Instructions

Thursday, Oct. 9th, 3pm

Liz's Room