Using Choice to Influence Reading Motivation
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This study focused on the impact of choice in regards to reading motivation in a rural Wisconsin middle school classroom. As the research suggests, choice in reading material is one way to increase student reading motivation. Data for this study was collected using the mixed method approach including parent surveys to identify the development of reading habits outside of classroom, teacher conferences with students, anonymous surveys to gauge motivation for choice novels and non-choice material, and other trackers to indicate student reading habits. One of the main findings of this study was that there are benefits to both choice and non-choice materials in a Language Arts classroom. The reality of having both of these selections supports the students who lack confidence in selecting books for themselves and who most benefit from the scaffolding allowed by a class text. Both selections also benefit the confident readers who have the opportunity to be exposed to new genres they may not have considered on their own which can be motivating in its own way. In addition, the independence that the choice books create allows both kinds of readers to discover their own abilities and practice the skills that are set in place with a mentor text or class novel. When students are given choice for reading material, they do find that it is motivating and more rewarding in regards to independence. The non-choice reading material offers a different kind of motivation that focuses on the social and community building aspect of reading. Both are beneficial and useful to the variety of readers in a particular classroom setting.