No More Reading For Junk – Section 1

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I spent today with this NEW text.  You can download a sample of the book by clicking here.  At just 75 pages long the book is a quick read.  Like other Not This, But That books the information is organized into 3 sections:

Section 1 – Not This

Section 2 – Why Not?  What Works?

Section 3 – But That.

My next 3 posts will be dedicated to what I want to remember and have learned from this text on motivating students to READ.  Today I reflect on Section 1.  This section was short (just 12 pages long).

Section 1 – We Can’t Nurture Intrinsic Reading Motivation Using Rewards/Punishment

This chapter is written by Barbara Marinak.  It is filled with Barbara’s honest reflections of how she got things wrong when it comes to trying to foster students’ motivation to read.  Here a few of my favorite quotes:

  • Affording my students choice, surrounding them with books, reading aloud, and encouraging conversations were the authentic and enduring practices that would most likely nurture intrinsic reading motivation. (p. 5)
  • I was a precocious reader when I was young, but not because my parents “taught” me to read.  Instead they did all the right stuff.  The read aloud constantly, provided lots of pint in the house, and shared stories around the dinner table. (p. 5)
  • Several reading programs suggest that children read books only books “on their level.”  I have always been befuddled by that phrase.  I am not exactly sure what it means because all children have multiple reading levels, depending upon experience, interests, background knowledge, passion, and so on. (p. 6)
  • Despite our best intentions, we had created what some refer to as “public displays of humiliation.”  The celebration had turned into a competition.  The focus became counting and comparing versus loving reading.  Lesson learned. (p. 7)
  • Many were quietly complaint…complaint readers are not necessarily motivated readers. (p. 9)
  • Our goal is to have students who can read, who choose to read, and who enjoy reading a variety of text. (p. 11)

This section reminds me it is easy to get things wrong when it comes to reading motivation.  Stickers, food, prize closets, and public displays may seem like a good idea but as the stories in this section illustrate they do little to accomplish the goal of creating life-long readers.  As one heading in this section states we need to Rethink (and Reject) the Behaviorist Model.

Want to dig into this idea further?  Read Donalyn Miller’s post titled “Reading is Its Own Reward.”  It is SO Good!!!

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