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Motivation Tips

Sometimes issues other than reading get in the way of a student's reading progress. The following suggestions may be helpful if behavior issues are keeping your student from making progress.

Reluctant readers often need encouragement from their teachers and their reading partners to get them interested and involved in reading.

Here's how you can help:

  • Strategies
    • Be a good role model! Talk often about the materials you're reading and let your students see you reading.

    • Create a book-rich environment. Have lots of reading materials available for your students to take a look at.

    • Create opportunities for choice. Students are often most interested in materials they have chosen for their own reasons and purposes.

    • Provide appropriate reading-related incentives. Rewards that relate to reading and reading behavior (i.e. books, bookmarks, etc!) can help increase your students' motivation to read.

    • Return to the Top

Reluctant readers may need additional incentives to keep them going. Be generous and creative with your rewards!

Here are some suggestions that may help:

  • Strategies

    • Give positive feedback.Give lots of it! Your students need to feel successful (and they need to know that you appreciate how hard they're working!)

    • Give specific feedback. Let your students know exactly what it is that they're doing well. Comments such as, "I really like the way you used the picture to figure out the meaning of that word." or "I'm so pleased that you remembered to sound that word out." help reinforce your students' willingness to use the strategies you're teaching them.

    • Give Rewards. These don't have to be expensive or elaborate. It could be a bookmark (often available free at your local library), a certificate (see our Sample Certificate), or even a hug! These rewards help give your students a welcome sense of achievement.

Some readers may have other issues that prevent them from making progress with their reading.

Here are some suggestions that may help:

  • Strategies
    • Make your expectations clear. Some students feel more secure and make better progress if they know exactly what is expected of them both academically and behaviorally. Take time to communicate your expectations to your students.
    • Be consistent. Some learners have a hard time coping with new situations. Sessions may be easier if there is a definite structure and routine to them.
    • Provide clear, fair consequences. Make sure your students know exactly what to expect if they behave inappropriately.
    • Provide an appropriate environment. Sometimes providing a more appropriately-sized chair or a seat cushion can make a big difference in how well your student is able to concentrate on the session. (Find additional suggestions in Accessibility.)
    • Be flexible and patient. Learning is hard work. Give your students time to adjust.

    • Keep your sessions short. Not all students are able to concentrate for long periods of time. Limit your sessions to time periods that are manageable for your students.

    • Give frequent breaks.Sometimes all a student needs is a little time out (to take a stretch, get a drink of water, or just move around).
    • Provide active involvement movement. Some students just need to move. As much as possible, try to create acceptable options for doing so. Let them use the mouse, let them point out words on the screen; if necessary, let them stand up for awhile.(And don't forget those stretch breaks!)
    • Give positive feedback. Give lots of it! Your students need to feel successful (and they need to know that you appreciate how hard they're working!)