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Re: [teacherartexchange] How to get kids to read during class


Date: Fri Aug 29 2008 - 03:24:09 PDT

Hi, Joe,

First of all, what is the reason for them to read the text in the first place? I'm not asking
to be a smart-aleck, I'm asking as a reading specialist. Do they know the reason? Does
reading the text accomplish something, or is it "because it is there," and you feel compelled
to use it?

I wouldn't advise reading whole chapters, just the parts that are relevant to their studio
work. Make sure the students understand why they're reading the text and not working on a
studio assignment. Prepare some specific questions that relate to the selections and that
relate the selections to their studio work. Don't forget to consider Bloom's Taxonomy, so
you're asking questions of different levels. The students should be familiar with the
questions you're asking to guide their reading. Break the reading into small chunks, a short
subsection or a couple of important paragraphs. Partner students with reading problems with a
better reader, unless you have outgoing students who enjoy reading aloud.

Another technique is to outline the chapter for them, leaving some blanks to fill in. I can
send you an example from my former art history class if that would be helpful.

Christa's technique with the Popsicle sticks is excellent, or you can use small cards with each
student's name on it. Not knowing who will be called on "raises the anxiety level" and keeps
them more attentive. If you have very shy students, arrange for their names to sorta float to
the top so they can answer the really easy, no-fail questions.

Hope this helps,


> I am in need of some advise on how to get students to read during class. This is my second
> year for having a textbook in my beginning art and ceramic class. I have a classroom set so
> the students can't take them home so any reading that needs to be done is done in class. How
> is the best way to handle this. If I tell the students to read most of them don't. I
> hesitate at having the students read out loud because I hated doing that when I was in school
> but I would be willing to try that if I know of a way that wasn't so stressful for the kids
> that didn't read as well as the others. Any suggestions on how to handle this would really be
> appreciated.

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