• methodology;
  • survey;
  • motivation
  • childhood
  • article

Can students identify the practices that motivate them to read? If asked to evaluate which components of a reading program are beneficial in motivating them, can they identify a particular practice and explain why it was helpful? These were the two major questions asked of 22 fifth-grade students reflecting on their fourth-grade experience. A survey was developed to elicit students' reflections and opinions on 18 components of a fourth-grade reading program.

These components fell into five categories:

  • Proximity and access to books

  • Routines and procedures

  • Reading strategies

  • Individual preferences

  • Student accountability and record-keeping

The students rated each practice as “very important,” “important,” “not very important,” or “not important,” based on how much each influenced their reading attitudes and habits. According to the students, “proximity and access to books” was the most valued component of the reading program. Eighty-six percent of the students ranked having a lot of books in the classroom library as “most important.” They appreciated being able to find books immediately.