Teach How to Abandon Books
Teachers who work with struggling or reluctant readers need to teach how to abandon books. This is something I feel strongly about as a former teacher. However, I also draw from my own personal experience as a struggling reader.
Growing up as a struggling reader, I thought that if I started a book, it meant I had to finish it. I NEVER assumed the book was a problem. I ALWAYS assumed that I was the problem. If only I read better, then, surely, I would love the book.
As a teen, I never learned that it was okay to abandon books. Especially those that I was allowed to choose on my own. Maybe if I had, I would have fallen in love with books much earlier.
Struggling readers will say, “It’s a stupid book.” But often they feel, “I’m too stupid to read it.” But the reality is that there are boring books! Or there are books where the subjects do not interest them. These are easy teachable moments. Abandoning those books is a healthy choice. Why stick with books that make you dread reading?
However, there are times when struggling readers must face the facts. There are books where the vocabulary is above their reading level. At this point, teachers need to point out that this does not label them as “stupid”. It only means they need to find books that will strengthen their fluency. IF they stick with it, then they will find they will be able to tackle the higher-reading level books one day. In this case, the teacher should encourage the student to abandon the book that is way above their reading level. However, they need to replace it with a book that is on their reading level.
Yet, that is not enough. The book needs to also be at their interest level. A balance between reading level and interest level helps promote the desire to read. These high interest level and low reading level (Hi-Lo) books offer hope for these students.
BUT, more often than not, struggling readers will not abandon their “stupid book”. Why? Because it is just easier to hold onto it and pretend to read it. This is why abandoning books must me taught and modeled. They need to see “good” readers abandoning books. They need to see it is another tool to take control over their own learning.
I strongly recommend teachers, reading specialists, parents/guardians and media specialists teach how to abandon books. Never assume that students understand this concept. Remember that most struggling readers feel something is wrong if they abandon a book. I think we can begin to change that thinking, if we work on this together.
As an author of Hi-Lo books, I strive for my readers to authentically want to stick with my stories and not have a need to abandon them. Or even worse, pretend to stick with them. I strongly believe that my books are perfect for teachers who are seeking books that their reluctant readers will enjoy. https://www.lbtillit.com/
My Easy Read Books, LLC addresses the need for high interest level and low reading level books (Hi-Lo Books) to focus on creating complex plots to match the intellectual needs of the reader, while providing a reading level that allows for comprehension. https://www.myeasyreadbooks.com/
Blog Photo Credit: Cottonbro (Pexels)