The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
19. Motivation and Reading: Focus on Content Literacy
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Motivation and Reading
Focus on Content Literacy
In the summer of 2006, I designed a summer reading day camp at Clarion University comprised of the reading department’s literacy assessment and instruction practicum courses, the capstone classes in becoming a reading specialist. During the following two years, Dr. Brian Maguire and I collaborated to create a three-week summer reading camp to promote what is often lacking in our schools— a genuine enjoyment of and interest in reading. Throughout this process, I have been amazed at the fantastic job graduate students have done while working with Pre-K through grade 8 children on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension on an individual basis as well as collaborating as literacy coaches. Some children arrived at summer reading camp as reluctant readers but left as motivated readers. This phenomenon was particularly evident in our middle grade level students. Much of this success can be attributed to the graduate students’ emphasis on selecting instructional materials that related to the children’s interests and were highly motivating.
Edmunds and Bauserman (2006) state that when children first enter school, they are excited and motivated to learn. However, over time, motivation begins to decrease in all academic subjects. This waning of motivation is especially vexing in reading. The decline in many children’s motivation to read in both the school and home environments reaches a significantly low level in fourth grade....
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