5 Ways to Nudge Students to Engage with Outside Reading

My previous post gave 4 factors to persuade teachers to start giving outside reading assignments. I am sure, however, that you still have concerns about your students’ motivation to complete an assignment like this while avoiding the temptation to cut corners and cheat. I share in those concerns.

Over the years, though, I have come up with ways to steer students to complete their outside reading assignment faithfully. I still have to guard against apathy and students who insist on cutting corners instead of doing the work, but I have drastically reduced the amount of energy I spend on keeping watch over this behavior. And I would like to share these tips with you! Continue reading “5 Ways to Nudge Students to Engage with Outside Reading”

For Outside Reading, My Nudgiest Nudge Yet!

In a previous post about my top Outside Reading nudges, I said I was going to try and use a reading progress chart. I am beta testing it right now, and I am excited about the results that I am getting!

You see two things in the photo at the top of the post. One, the public sign up sheet where students declare a commitment to read a certain title for their outside reading assignment. Two, the Outside Reading Progress Chart — it’s the one that looks like the bar graph.

On day one of posting the progress chart, students were already saying the kinds of thing I was hoping to hear:

Continue reading “For Outside Reading, My Nudgiest Nudge Yet!”

Outside Reading: Don’t Let These 2 Negatives Derail All the Positives

Earlier in the week we looked at the why and the how of assigning your students outside reading. For this post, I would like to directly address the top two reasons I avoided giving this assignment for as long as I did. And I will tell you why they are poor excuses.

Lately, I have been listening to the audiobook The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D. The message I keep hearing over and over is, “If you believe it can be done, you can find a way. But if you do not believe it can be done, then you will not look for a way.” This is the kind of thinking that led me to shake those excuses and move toward creating a meaningful assignment for my students.

Years ago, I decided to stop letting the reasons “not to” block my students from the possibility of becoming lifelong readers. Instead, I tried to work around the problems I was anticipating. And I showed you how I do it, but now I want to help you think around the two negative arguments that kept some of my past students sidelined from developing a habit of reading.  Continue reading “Outside Reading: Don’t Let These 2 Negatives Derail All the Positives”