"Working With Reluctant Readers"

When I was a reading coach, I had a student who was very reluctant to read. Whether it was her self-confidence or reading in front of others, she refused to read. In an effort to make her feel comfortable, I told her that I would read first. Having picked one of her favorite "Elephant and Piggie" books, I decided to change my voice to portray each character in the story. Hearing my funny voices, her eyes lit up along with a smile. After I read a few pages, I handed the book to her. Encouraging her to take her time, she started to read. As she started to read her first page, I proceeded to draw the illustrations that were on that page. She started to giggle at the sight of my artistic abilities. I told her to keep reading because that gave me the confidence to draw what I saw on the pages. My student's giggles in between her reading soon got the attention of the other students in the classroom. By the time the session was over, I was surrounded by other students wanting me to draw "Elephant" and "Piggie" for them!

With reluctant readers - get creative! You don't have to be a talented artist to draw pictures while they read, but maybe portray "readers theater" by changing your voice to portray the different characters in the story. Change it up from time to time to entertain the child. Get them comfortable in reading. Build-up their confidence. Doing a variety of things for encouragement will soon have them enjoying reading and loving it!

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