Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Transforming reluctant readers into avid bookworms - DEAR Time

DEAR - Drop Everything And Read - a wonderful, eagerly looked forward to time on Friday afternoons, when Lower Elementary children snuggle down with a book.  Everyone reads. Its downtime, funtime, "away into another world" time.

DEAR is absolutely essential to get kids to develop the reading habit. It can easily be practiced at home - where everyone switches off devices, grabs a book and reads. The key word - "EVERYONE". No excuses

In schools, one DEAR period a week is really helpful to get reluctant readers to pick a book. They can't be doing anything else in that time, right? Just flipping, checking out the pictures, glancing is absolutely fine for the really reluctant readers.

Its really important that teachers also read. This is role modelling.  Kids will follow suit when they see their teachers also giving up everything to read. Sure, the first few times, there'll always be this kid who you feel you need to watch, remind, nag. Resist the urge. Its more important that s/he sees you as the teacher reading a book.  

Another way DEAR helps is go provide a downtime. After an exciting, stimulating and pretty exhausting day at school, children learn to focus on the book, tune out the world. This calms them down  while demonstrating a critical lifeskill - the ability to relax, tune out and read.

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