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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

For Anna, it's all about the page count

March 17, 2009

Motivation is a huge topic in reading. So many parents and teachers deal with motivation issues every day. I saw this quote recently; I think it applies nicely to reading: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. (Jim Ryun, author and runner)

Yesterday's trip to the library was an interesting lesson for me about Anna's motivation to read. After Anna slipped 3 or 4 really thick books into our bag, I had to ask her about it.

Me: You sure are getting some big books this time!
Anna: I know! Look! This one has 261 pages. And 18 chapters!
Me: Really! Wow. What's it about? And what IS THAT on the cover?!

Anna is motivated these days only by books that make her feel older and more like a "real reader." I remember her going through a similar phase when she wanted to make the jump to chapter books a little before her reading skills were ready (thank goodness for Amanda Pig and Henry and Mudge!)

What motivates a reader to read? For parents, it may mean gathering books about a vacation spot or one that matches your child's current hobby, keeping the reading climate at home fun and engaging all the way from A-Z.

For teachers, motivating a reader might mean hooking them in through high interest-low vocabulary books or through some outstanding non-fiction picture books, or by getting the family involved through family literacy bags.

Whether you're a parent or a teacher (or both!), I hope you're able to find an extra minute or two today to figure out what's going to create a habit for a special reader in your life.

Comments

Thanks for thisgreat post. I will dive into these articles and I hope find something to help! I have a 6 year old reader who barely made first grade benchmark. He has been listening to read alouds often since he was a baby and loves higher level stories. However, he can't read them on his own! This makes things interesting. It's a little harder to motivate him to read on his own when he can hear something more exciting from me! I obviously need the perfect books, and he needs lots more practice so he can get to where he wants to be. :)

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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor