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  • Russ Thompson


Updated: Jun 20, 2022

June 20, 2022.

If reading is a job to kids, a chore, they will do it when they have to.

But they won't think of reading as something they can do for pleasure. And they won't read widely enough to become exposed to the ideas they need to become educated at high levels.

How do you get kids turned on to reading, to read for pleasure?

First, you need to provide a wide range of books that interest them.

If you have not already done so, consider setting up a classroom library in your room. It can be on a shelf. It can be on a spinning book rack. The key is to put a variety of books in front of your kids.

Second, make sure the books are appropriate for students with a wide range of reading skills. You want books that students can read independently, with at least 95 percent accuracy.

For some students, even those in high school, this means books written at a second or third grade readability level.

For teens, look for Hi-Low books. These have short sentences, easy vocabulary, and stories that are appropriate for older students.

Putting the right books in front of your kids can make a huge difference in helping them achieve at higher levels.

See below for a TED talk by nine-year-old Luke Makic-Pawlak of the British School Warsaw. He speaks eloquently about the power of reading.

Russ Thompson, Ed.D., is a retired reading teacher and high school principal who is the founder of Finding Forward Books.

During his time as an educator, mostly in high-poverty areas of Los Angeles, he worked closely with at-risk students.

He observed many successes and saw a lot of students overcome their learning problems.

Providing the right books to kids is a big step in helping them improve their reading skills.

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