3 Ways to Promote Positive Reading Attitudes In Students (And Why This Matters) - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

3 Ways to Promote Positive Reading Attitudes In Students (And Why This Matters)

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Perhaps you’ve heard it said that attitude is everything. That keeping a positive attitude can be a huge determining factor in your overall success in life. While there are naturally other variables in play, positive attitudes about reading have a huge impact on student outcomes.

Why Positive Reading Attitudes Matter

In many classrooms, reading instruction focuses in large part on helping children hone specific skills.

  • Practicing special sounds
  • Sounding out and decoding words
  • Memorizing blends
  • Building vocabulary

However, helping children develop a positive reading attitude can go a long way toward improving their overall outcomes.

Children with positive reading attitudes tend to be willing to read, enjoy reading, become proficient, and become lifelong readers. On the other hand, children with poor attitudes toward reading may only read when they have to read, tend to avoid reading, and may even refuse to read altogether. A child’s attitude toward reading may have a profound impact upon his or her overall academic progress. (National Mental Health and Education Center)

Because a child’s reading attitude can have such a deep and far-reaching impact, it’s vital that parents, educators, and the broader community band together to help children learn to love reading.

3 Ways to Promote Positive Reading Attitudes in Students

Cultivating a positive reading attitude may look different from child to child. However, these core principles can be broadly applied.

Foster a Reading Environment

Children are shaped by the environments they inhabit. At home and at school, parents and educators can collaborate to foster environments that amplify, encourage, and promote reading.

This can be done both implicitly and explicitly.

  • Have plenty of fun, colorful, and engaging reading options lying around.
  • Allow children to see you reading to yourself for pleasure.
  • Incorporate artwork and other cultural artifacts that depict people reading.
  • Create comfortable reading nooks and hidden corners where children can curl up with a good book.

Pour on the Praise

Children can be uncertain of themselves and quickly become embarrassed when they make mistakes. This is particularly true when they are in front of their peers, whom they fear might tease them.

Whenever reading is involved, be sure to pour on the praise.

  • “I love hearing you read!”
  • “You’re really good at this.”
  • “I’m proud of you for trying to pronounce the hard words.”
  • “I like the way you tell me about the books you’re reading.”

These positive affirmations can make a big difference in helping children develop positive attitudes toward reading.

Foster Conversations about Books and Stories

Talking about what you’re reading, asking children about their favorite books, and sparking discussions about stories and storytelling are engaging ways to remind students that reading can be fun and social. For some students, particularly those who are extroverted, social, or who enjoy verbally processing, such conversations can prove vital.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to long-term success, positive attitudes toward reading can have a huge impact on students’ outcomes. By fostering an environment that values reading, lavishing children with praise related to their reading efforts, and sparking ongoing conversations about books and stories, you can help make such outcomes attainable.


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