Last summer, Scholastic Magazines reached out and graciously offered to partner with the blog for the school year. It was a unique opportunity to get an incredible resource in the hands of students, and we wanted to share about the experience.
Teacher Takeaways from a Year with Scholastic
By far, the biggest takeaway was my ability to reach reluctant readers.
We have all had reluctant readers. No matter the subject matter, these students are nervous to read aloud and if they’re not being monitored, will stare at the same page just hoping to “look” like they are reading. But as adults we know the advantage, joy, and creativity that comes from loving to read. So, when Scholastic offered to send our grade level team a classroom subscription (30 copies), the answer was a clear, “YES!”
Using Scholastic Magazines to Reach Reluctant Readers
My middle schoolers loved the relevant articles and engaging topics. From Junior Scholastic article titled You Are Being Watched (students read about how marketers track what consumers do online so they can create specific ads tailored to them) to Choices article Not Fit for Human Consumption (students learned about the dangers of synthetic drugs), students enjoyed reading full-color articles with interesting graphs, images, and puzzles. The topics were relevant to preteens, and the reading level was a great fit for my classes!
Here are a few ways that my colleagues used the magazines in their classrooms to reach reluctant readers and as part of their lessons.
“I used an article from Junior Scholastic when teaching my End-of-Unit Writing Tasks about the right to bear arms. The students were able to successfully cite two major pieces of evidence in their papers taken from the article. You could tell the magazine gave them the confidence boost they needed to make their essays sound and appear stronger. I was very grateful to have such an interesting tool to share with my students.”
-7th Grade Writing Teacher
“Scholastic Magazines were a perfect solution during my school’s campus wide Drop Everything and Read time. Once a week for thirty minutes, students were expected to read. For reluctant readers, this was a very challenging time. Then, I started using Scholastic Choices magazines for the students who were pretending to read or who didn’t have a book. Those students became some of my most invested readers. They devoured the magazines and then had questions for me about the content. I loved how the teacher guide provided questions and discussion topics for the different articles.
I think the best part was that the Choices magazines addressed issues that were specific to their lives, which kept them invested in reading. I was thrilled to see students read for pleasure with so much enthusiasm.”
-6th Grade Math Teacher
“Science World magazines were engaging for my students – they were so excited to receive new issues! The articles sparked many interesting conversations, and I loved seeing students making connections between the current events featured in the articles and our classroom content.”
-6th Grade Science Teacher
As the year went on, students became familiar with the structure of the magazines, learned from the colorful infographics, and became much more comfortable with non-fiction text. In a day and age when many non-fiction sources are biased or are on topics that don’t appeal to a preteen, it was awesome to see students engaged (and learning) from a reliable source.