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How to Get Reluctant Readers to Love Reading

Kim Butler is a teacher librarian. Through her work with hundreds of kids, she has learned how to help kids really foster a love of reading. Her tips will help the most reluctant readers fall in love with books.

Listen to the episode here:

Kim Butler is a Teacher Librarian

Licensed teacher, masters degree in school library and principal licensure.

She always planned to be a teacher and then later realized that she wanted to be in library.

Teacher librarian includes a lot of technology, organization skills and life skills. It’s less about curriculum although that is a part of it too.

Kim teaches them in their classrooms and in the library.

Teacher librarians can go to classrooms or have kids come to the library. Kim does both.

What drew you to teaching?

'I’ve always loved working with kids and had an affinity for teaching.

When I was doing my student teaching, I started talking to the librarian and she told me that the library had a lot to do with technology.'

As a librarian, she is also in charge of handling all the library functions.

Different Language Focus

When kids come to the library to learn from her, she often works on comprehension.

In kindergarten, they might focus on identifying characters and their roles. They also notice expressions and how that relates to the words they see.

For older kids, they word on inference and reading with expression. They connect texts to self or to each other.

Sometimes kids need help with perspective and what a story looks like from different viewpoints.

This can look like a conversation about the book and the kids are being taught to recognize things in the story that they might not have noticed right away.

Helping Kids Love Reading

Give kids the opportunity to choose what they want.

Interest drives kids so much in getting them reading.

When you find that book that does it for the kid, they can’t get enough. It can be hard to find that book! Find out their interests and what they like.

Parents worry a lot about the level of the books. If kids are forced to read books that are too hard, they can back off and get fearful of reading.

But there is no such thing as an easy book!

Even books with no words have some complex meanings and complex ideas, you just have to dig and you have to spend some time with it.

Research has shown repeatedly that the quantity matters so much more than the difficulty of the text.

Continue to expose your kids to books.

Let them listen to books. It all counts.

Don’t put a lot of rules around what counts.

If they like to read the back of the cereal box, let them do that.

Just keep throwing stuff at them so they read more and more and more.

I also recommend listening to books, sometimes following along.

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