7 Grim Reading Stats and 6 Ways to Turn Them Around

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Reading Stats in the US and Tips for Encouraging Reading

7 Grim Reading Stats and 6 Ways to Turn Them Around

By Jessica Thiefels

Reading is arguably one of the most important skills a student can master—students will need to know how to read in almost every other area of schooling and life. Luckily, educators are in a powerful position to make a change for the better.

What’s more, students want to read more; both at home and in school. In fact, 52 percent of students love class reading time.

While “teaching to the test” has become a time-consuming part of the school day, there are a number of ways teachers can bring more reading into the classroom.

How to Impact Change
  • Assign reading as part of non-reading instruction. There are a variety of non-fiction books that would make history, geography and science more engaging and exciting.
  • Use a website like CouponBox, Amazon Magazines or Slick Deals to buy discounted books and magazines when there are small openings in the budget. If reading material is available, students will pick it up.
  • Build non-screen time into the week. While edtech is a hugely valuable addition to the classroom, without a screen in front of them, students will be more motivated to spend time in the library with a book in their hand.

It’s also important to relay this information to parents as much as possible. They likely don’t know their kids want to read more at home, especially with mom and dad: a whopping 83 percent of kids say they love when they’re parents read out loud to them.

Not only is this an opportunity for your students to read more, but it also gives parents a chance to model their love of reading while bonding as a family. Consider incentivizing students for reading at home, either with their parents or alone. Something as small as a book mark will encourage many students to read more.

Consider incentivizing students to read at home, either with their parents or alone. Something as small as a bookmark will encourage many students to read more.

Jessica Thiefels is an education blogger and has been featured in publications such as EdTech Digest and Daily Genius. Her favorite books growing up were My Side of the Mountain and The Giver, and she hopes to inspire a similar love of reading in students and educators.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder and CEO of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series -- books that provide right-now solutions for teachers and learners. Mark is the author or publisher of dozens of books, including Bestseller Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 140,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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