9th Reading Forum

Reading Benefits Article Response

Please respond as a reply to this discussion. Your response needs to be posted by class time on Thursday, February 11. 

Below are prompts to guide your response:

Reflect on your reading habits. How often and what do you read?

Which of the benefits of reading do you think is most important, and why?

Schools claim that reading is important, yet students often graduate high school (and college) saying that they will probably never read another book. How can schools change their approach to reading in order to build readers rather than reading scores?

As always, the following two components are required for credit:

At least one direct quotation from the article itself as part of one of your claims.

At least one direct reference to someone else's response (either in agreement or disagreement with their claim).

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  • I have very poor reading habits. I mostly read during school study hall when I have nothing to do. I believe that that is very bad, as homework is very common in High School, which doesn’t leave much time for reading. I’ve tried reading every night before I go to bed to calm down before sleeping, but I was unable to commit to that schedule. A big part of this is not having anything making me read in the past. No classes required reading in any part, and the only one was just a short time we had in English.

    I read a ton when I was young. I would read at any point I had, but that was before I got all these devices that seemed to stop me. I read fictionous books about brave heroes I wanted to look up to, and even be in sometimes. Nowadays I learned being in those spots would be horrible, as you would have tons of death around you, and even the threat of it going for you next would be terrifying. Now I read books that give a feel of the furthest thing from the basics. Crazy, books with completely original stories and situations, like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Ready Player One.

    Stress is a large problem many people have in today’s world. Luckily, books can lower one’s stress levels. Tranquility and relaxation can help the mind. The article states that certain books can be more effective than others. “Reading spiritual books can lower blood pressure and can bring about an immense sense of calm, while reading self-help books has been shown to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental illnesses.”

    There’s nothing schools can do about people doing what they think is best for them. No matter how hard you drill “books are good and can help you at sad points in your life” into their head, they will forget or not care enough to listen, even if it’s true. They just want to get through school. Josie stated that getting rid of letter grades would help, but I really don’t think it would help much, as there wouldn’t be much to base your scores off of, and would cause problems for other classes. It might not even work to grow people’s reading habits as they would prefer to do what they want instead of the things the school wants us to do.
  • I don’t read very often unless i’m supposed to, or if i’m actually interested in the book, but if it weren’t for being in your class then, I do read more than I ever do.

    The benefit of reading is that it gets your mind off of problems that you have been having, or that are going on at that moment. It’s kind of like listening to music when you are in a depressing stage or you are angry and need to block everything around you out. Why because, if you are having bad time or if you like reading it helps you become better at reading than you are now.

    Schools can change their approach of reading without reading scores by having the kids that don’t comprehend very well, like myself, to what they have been reading, have them read more to teachers, or have more fluency tests, and have those kids tell the teacher directly what they have just read, even if they are in High School or College. It’s not a bad thing to have older kids that don’t understand read to a teacher because they don’t understand very well.

    “When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story.”

    Nate Fox said that ‘I don't think you should attribute this to just reading, as you can "lose yourself" in anything, and some people aren't able to find themselves that invested in a "good story".’ I disagree with his claim because you can lose yourself while reading a good book, even if you're not distracted. You don’t have to be distracted to lose yourself in something, you can be reading and then lose interest in the book.
  • I don't read very often. When I read it’s usually at night time. The reason I don't read often is because I’m just not interested in it. I also don't have the time to read besides in class. I like to read book that kids are in trouble and see how they get out of it or how hard their life is after. It helps me think “ I don't want to be in that spot.”

    I feel that the benefits of reading lower your stress level. It just takes your mind off things and puts you in a zone. If you have a problem with anything and you've been frustrated about it lately I reading helps with blocking it out. Reading make you feel relieved.

    Most schools have reading classes which is a class to help you read more. Not all people will wanna read on their own time. The only reading they will do is when they are forced to. How school can change that is by lowering their expectation of what you have to read and let us do the reading.

    I agree with Josie with the stress reduction while reading. Us kids are so worried about our grades, test, and homework and end up upset about it. She explains that no matter how much stress you have at work, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story.
  • I read everyday and I generally will read anything. If I don't read one day I was most likely distracted by school, dance, work, etc. I often read fiction but I do like almost any genre like mystery, comedy, and action. The only genre that I don't read often is romantic.

    I think that the most important benefits of reading is to understand that even though you might not live through the events someone might have. In the article it states “Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy.”I think it helps us as humans to understand each other in a more humane way.

    I think that one way for schools to improve their students reading level is to let us read more books that we enjoy and not assigning them to us. They should also I think give us a time that our book should be done by but also make it long enough that we don't feel pressured. I think that would be helpful because when we don't have a certain time to have something done by we feel like we can just take our time and personally I would most likely forget about it. I agree with Alexx “You can't force someone to like something if you are telling them to read this.” I think that’s so true because most people think that everyone will like what they like and it's not like that.
  • My reading habits can vary depending on what i’m reading about. For example if i am reading a fiction book about an other realms and non earth like planets for school and i end up liking than i will read more of that book. But if it’s book that i find boring then i will read the minimum required each day or week. So my main point is if i enjoy the book then i will read more then required on my own time.

    I find memory improvement as the most fascinating and most important for several reasons. One of the reasons would be how when you are reading you’re learning about new things and here is a quotation from the article about memory improvement. “Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses and strengthens your existing ones, which assists with short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods”. How amazing is that, the fact that actually happens when you’re reading is just phenomenal.

    As far as schools making an approach on the students reading not only for a certain time period but for the rest of their lives. I would have to agree with Mr. polking on how students should be able to pick out a book they like and read instead of the teacher always picking out a book to read that most students don’t enjoy. I believe that would be the best approach about schools and reading.
  • I possibly read as much as I can, but I wish I could read more. I try to read when I get home after school. I think people should start reading more during their free time so they don’t become stupid. The most important benefit of reading in my opinion is knowledge because people can gain more knowledge from reading a book or even read a magazine instead of sitting on a coach.

    Schools can change their approach to build readers instead of reading scores is to give the students more time in reading class. The schools should be more about reading than writing, because I think reading is more important than writing.

    I also think that stress reduction and memory improvement is an important benefit of reading. I see some people get stressed about things, but when they start to sit down and read a book their stress goes away. I had a memory after reading a book once (don’t remember what the book was called) but it was a weird memory from when I was a baby. “The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are.”

    I agree with Mr. Polking about how he could write a book about how schools could approach on how we read. I think we just need more time in reading class.
  • When I read I can't really concentrate when people are talking or there is distracting things going on. I read quite often I read at home but in my study hall or other classes where I have time to read I will read. I often read at night because it helps me concentrate more because there are no distraction like there are at school. I like to read all types of book but some books are just not interesting so I tend to read a little in the book then go get a different book.

    The most important benefits from read is that if widens your vocabulary and helps you understand something that you might not know. Another benefit is that it keeps brain power and can even help prevent dementia or Alzheimer's.

    School’s can make reading more fun for kids is to offer prizes to kids that read their goal. They could also let them pick out the book that they want to read and the goal they want to set instead of just picking a book for them or setting a goal for them that is to high.

    “Studies have shown that staying mentally simulated can slow the progress of(or possibly even prevents Alzheimer’s and dementia, since keeping your brain active engage prevents it from losing power.”

    I agree with what Mr. Polking is saying how schools should give kids more time to read.
  • I read a lot, most of the time it's on the computer, and I read stories made by professional authors or people just writing for fun. Although I have not been reading very much as I get older.

    Reading is an important thing to know and be good at. Your life consists of reading every day at some point in time you will have to read something. Reading is a great way to pass knowledge to younger people, and to record history.

    Instead of reading and then having test or quizzes, have people go into groups and talk about the book and then have them write a summary. Give people lots of choices for different books to read and learn from. Maybe after reading a book have them watch the movie, so people get rewarded for reading and doing good. The people who don’t read or do stuff don’t get to watch the movie or whatever is happening at the time.

    "Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information" is true, each time you learn something your brain makes new memories. You can only learn as much as you are willing to, if you want to learn listen and read, like it has been done for decades.
  • I read almost every day. If I don’t read every day, it’s because I get distracted by my life and forget about the books I’m reading or going to read. I try to read every day. I read a lot more when I’m have problems in my personal/social life. As said in the article, “No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story.” I think that’s one of the reasons why I read so much.

    To me, I think the most important benefit of reading is the expansion of your knowledge. Reading makes you learn without being aware of it. I agree with you when you say that stories are part of what makes us human. Without stories, who would we be? Stories really make up who we are. I feel as if every story that we read or hear, lives with us for a long time.

    Instead of pressuring kids to read and putting grades on how much a student reads, I feel as if teachers should let the students go on their own. I remember when we all liked reading, back in elementary school. As we grew older, though, our interest in reading was slowly diminished. Teachers always ask why, but in reality, it’s kind of because of them. Letting us read what we like, or what we want to read could greatly impact our reading skills.
  • I read as much as I can, but this past year was my least productive book reading year of the last four (65 books versus over 100 the three years previous). Why? My student load has increased from around 100 students per semester to 130-150 students per semester, and this year for the first time ever I have three full sections of DMACC Composition to teach. So I may be reading even more than I did in the past, but I'm reading more student work and fewer books.

    I still read magazines, including Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly. I've been reading Sports Illustrated for nearly my entire life (my father had a subscription when I was young) and Entertainment Weekly for the past twenty-five years. And, as the article mentioned, I do read lots of tweets, probably too many.

    The most important benefit of reading in my opinion is one not mentioned by the article. As I've mentioned in class, reading fiction is devalued in our educational culture in America at the moment. These are just stories, after all. But stories, as I've argued, are part of what make us human, part of what help us understand what makes other people human. And thus reading builds empathy and lessens judgment, as we more readily (see what I did there?) understand why other people do what they do. The article claims "knowledge can never be taken from you" and "you never know when it might come in handy." But you do know when empathy will come in handy: Every day of your life.

    I could write a book on what schools should change about how we approach reading, but I'll limit my response to this: Allow students to, most of the time, choose what they read; surround them with good books to choose from and fellow readers to discuss their reading with; and give them time to read.
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