Making Connections with Reading

Making Connections with Reading

Good readers are motivated to read, their interest in books is high and so are the connections they are able to make from stories to their own life experiences. Many students, however, think that reading is boring. Here at Amigos Por Vida, we strive to make reading meaningful so students can have a rich learning experience through stories and books.

We make sure that our students make text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections when reading stories. If students make these connections, they are more likely to understand what they read, thus making the reading more meaningful to them.

Text-to-text connections take place when students are reading a story that reminds them of another story. All reading teachers build in text-to-text questions in their lessons to aid students in making such connections.

Text-to-self connections happen when students read a story and they relate its events to something that they have experienced in their lives. Our reading teachers are able to show to students how the text can relate to their lives by sharing their own connections through the think aloud strategy.

Text-to-world connections result by building the bridge between the text and student knowledge of the world around them. Reading teachers use activities as hooks to connect the text to real life. For example, when reading a non-fiction book about the five senses, teachers ask students to think of what they see, hear, smell, touch, and taste.

When students understand and remember what they read, they are more likely to enjoy reading. Young students that are in the decoding stage make connections to the reading when teachers read aloud. Our PK and K teachers bring realia (objects and materials from everyday life) and manipulatives to make the stories come alive. In PK4, students have the opportunity to go to the drama workstation to retell the story they read aloud. In Kindergarten and upper grades, students have opportunities to write about what they read.

How do we motivate students to read? We do so through building meaningful connections between books they are reading with books they have read, stories and own experiences, and stories and knowledge of the world that surrounds them. Making connections is easy once started, and they help make the reading relevant, rigorous, and fun!

Claudia Marin

Reading Instructional Coach