Increasing Reading Achievement: What Does It Take?
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Time spent reading is important. Kids should read extensively both in and out of school to polish their basic reading skills and develop fluency. During the school day, students need large chunks of time to read extended texts for a variety of purposes: for information, for pleasure, and for exploration. The key to becoming a proficient reader is practice, practice, and more practice.
Kids need access to engaging classroom and school library media center collections.
Kids need to be exposed to a variety of genres and authors, as well as to materials they find relevant and engaging. In addition to an extensive school library media center collection, students need access to engaging books and other reading materials in their classrooms. Classroom libraries should have approximately 8-15 books per student, with new titles added regularly to sustain student interest in reading.
Kids need choice in selecting books appropriate to their independent reading levels.
To practice their reading skills, kids need to spend the majority of their daily reading time with engaging books they can read with fluency and success; thus, kids need to read materials of their own choosing every day.
Kids need to be read aloud to every day.
Kids need to hear fluent readers read. By reading aloud, teachers and parents model fluent reading, broaden reading interests by exposing kids to genres and authors they might not discover on their own, and encourage positive attitudes toward reading.
Kids need positive reading role models.
Kids need to know that adults value reading and read for a variety of purposes themselves. They need teachers who demonstrate their enthusiasm for reading and who make reading for pleasure, as well as for information, a priority in the classroom.
Kids need to engage in a variety of reading activities every day.
Not all kids enter the reading process through the same "door." Some enter the reading process through writing. Others enter by listening to fluent readers read. Students need a variety of invitations to join the reading club, and teachers need to provide a variety of activities throughout the school day to engage them in reading.
Kids need to talk with others about what they are reading.
Learning is a social event. Interacting with their peers around their reading experiences enhances the learning for kids and increases their motivation to read.
Kids need quality teachers and high-quality instruction.
According to recent studies, neither the parent's level of education nor the family's socioeconomic status are as important as the quality of the teacher and the teacher's instruction in predicting student achievement.