February 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SPONSORED: Beeline Reading Challenge Kickstarts Student Independent Reading


Credit: Sjenner13/iStock

Out-of-school reading habits of students have shown that even 15 minutes a day of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in a year (Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988). As educators and parents, we’re challenged to motivate students to read more out of school and provide them with access to engaging, reading-level appropriate books they want to read and the time to do so balanced with sports, recreation, family time, and, of course, school work.

Research suggests that key factors in motivating students to read include providing a large selection of reading materials and allowing students choice in what they read, establishing a purpose for reading, and providing for social interaction as part of the reading experience.

NOTE: This content was sponsored and contributed by Brain Hive LLC.

Researchers in the field of reading motivation and engagement also say that students’ motivation to read increases when they have specific goals and expectations for reading and that students’ motivation to read strengthens when they have opportunities to socially interact with others about reading.

Parents and educators looking to encourage independent reading can offer reading challenges, giving kids ample choices of books, options for both print and digital reading, a variety of ways to share reading experiences and participate as a team with classmates or siblings, and fun prizes. Many librarians have programs ready to go, but if you’re in need of an easy way to build something from scratch, consider the Beeline Reading Challenge—a free turnkey program offered by Brain Hive with sweet ideas to get your challenge off and buzzing!

Look for additional research on independent reading in this white paper, Providing Time for Teacher-Guided Independent Reading: A Synthesis of Research and Expert Opinion, coming from Brain Hive in September 2014.

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Libraries and news organizations are joining forces in a variety of ways to promote news literacy, create innovative community programming, and help patrons/students identify misinformation. This online course will teach you how to partner with local news organizations to promote news literacy through a range of programs—including a citizen journalism hub at your library.