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Motivating your middle school reader

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If your middle schooler is like mine, motivating them to read is not easy.  They "don't have time", or they "can't find anything they like to read".  Middle school students have this notion that reading is work and is only something their teachers make them do.  The article "How to Motivate a Middle School Reader", by Regan McMahon, addresses six ways to help your middle schooler.

1) Let them choose what they read:  I let the kids choose what they want to read.  If they are simply choosing books by what level or how many points it has, then they will less likely become life-long readers. If they want to read a graphic novel, or the newest thriller by Steven King, let them!

2) Feed their interests:  If they are into basketball, help steer them to some books about basketball.  If they are into vampires and werewolves, then help them pick out books about them.

3) Make it social: Steer your kids to what the newest book craze is. If "all the kids" are reading Harry Potter, then let them read it too.  There are several websites that you can use to find what is "hot" in reading nowadays.  Teen Reads is a website that I have used before. Teenreads  The librarians at CL are also great about helping kids find good books as well.

4) Mix movies and books: Some kids love to read the books that go along with the newest movies.  I ALWAYS recommend reading the book first, however!

5) Follow the series: This has been the best way to get my students reading.  Once they find a series they enjoy, they tend to want to read more.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries have been very popular among my students.  Some of the girls are into the Selection series. 

6) Make time for reading: This is one we struggle with at home.  Even if you turn all the TVs and electronics off for 20 minutes each day and just read, this will help your student in school.  

Mrs. Maxwell's added tip: Read to your kids.  You will be surprised how the 5th and 6th graders like to be read to.  I don't always have time to read to them at school, but when I do, they LOVE it.  Read them something from a book you're reading, or an article from a magazine. Any reading is better than no reading. 

Here is the link to the original article. How to Motivate a Middle School Reader