How to Improve Reading Habits of Middle Schoolers
Tweens go through an emotional and physical growth phase. Sometimes, middle schoolers face more challenges than their reading skills. Reading proficiency is vital for children’s education and their quality of life.
Not all middle-school students have the same background, abilities, or support systems. This can make it frustrating for parents and teachers when middle-school students struggle to read. The right combination of reading strategies, effort, and support from parents and middle schoolers can make it easier for them to become proficient readers.
For improved reading abilities, practice is essential. Middle school readers who enjoy this process will grow academically. These are five tips to improve middle schoolers’ reading habits.
1. Vocabulary development
It is essential to learn vocabulary. If a student doesn’t understand the meaning of the words, they will have difficulty understanding a text. Middle school students can learn vocabulary in many different ways. Teachers can use flashcards and games to engage middle schoolers, teach vocabulary using context clues and root words, or even fill-in-the-blank activities.
2. Ask your parents to teach you how to read for pleasure
Numerous studies have shown that children learn from their parents about their reading habits outside of school. Children are more likely to follow the same reading habits of their parents if they have a good relationship with them, read together, share favorite books and recommend books. This should be something parents are aware of at home. Teachers should also make it a point of educating families about the importance of reading at home. Even though parents may not read for pleasure, they might choose to do so. Parents may not choose to read for enjoyment, but knowing their influence on their children’s reading habits can motivate them.
3. You have the freedom to choose what you read
Children love to read when it’s fun and not when it’s mandatory. It can be a great way to increase enthusiasm among middle school students by allowing them to choose their books, rather than being assigned a text. It will make middle schoolers more comfortable choosing from appropriate books. You should also note the importance of different types of texts, such as a graphic novels. These can help students develop their linguistic and critical thinking skills. They are popular among teens and tweens.
4. Reading together
Young readers can feel more confident reading aloud. Although they might feel anxious, this often goes away as they practice reading out loud. Children who aren’t confident in their ability to read are less likely than adults to read to them.
These books are great to read aloud:
- The Crossover By Kwame Alexander
- Esperanza Rising Pam Munoz Ryan
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone By J.K. Rowling
- Holes By Louis Sachar
- Island of the Blue Dolphins Scott O’Dell
- The Tell-tale Heart, and Other Writings by Edgar Allen Poe
- The Truth About Twinkie Pie By Kat Yeh
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
It is also important to remember the power of giving students reading materials that have mirrors and windows so they can see themselves and other people in what they read. Diverse books broaden students’ minds and motivate reluctant readers.
5. Practice no-pressure reading
Give middle school readers the time they need to practice reading, but don’t put any pressure on them. Allow them to make mistakes. Before they have to complete reading-based assignments and tests, correct them. Show them how much fun reading can be. Use different voices to read aloud, laugh when you make mistakes, discuss characters and the plot with enthusiasm, and relate books to students’ lives.