One of the biggest problems I encountered as a first year English teacher was structuring a lesson around whole group reading. Although I learned and practiced strategies at Institute as to how best to do to this, for whatever reason, I lost my toolkit once at my placement school. I had no idea how to make my love for reading contagious nor had I the confidence to even attempt boisterous analytical discussion. I was at a total loss when it came to facilitating the understanding of key textual ideas. Therefore, I tended to just bulldoze through a text, forcing kids to read for 30 minute periods, and asked a few questions when we finished. As a result, students relegated reading to the mundane task that I made it out to be.
During second semester I was brave enough to read a novel with my kids. Even though it was a high-interest text (LeRoy and the Old Man) aimed at their reading level, reading for long stretches was still a drag. After 30 minutes of it, only those with the greatest stamina remained fully engaged.
By the time I taught my second novel The Contender, about a boy who learns to box, I found a few strategies to break up seemingly endless pages of text.Here is a quick reference list of tips to make reading more exciting in your classroom (with or without technology).