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Teachers Agree: Classroom Magazines

Are Vital to Student Success

A
research study by Lesley Mandel they were found to be “non-
Morrow and Joy Lesnick1 threatening, inviting, manageable,
examines the benefits of and reader-friendly”—a perfect way
educational magazines like Scholastic to engage students and get them
Classroom Magazines, including reading.
Scholastic News, Science World, and
Scholastic Scope. Morrow and Lesnick
found that the majority of surveyed
teachers said magazines are an Timely reading materials
important source of motivation, that that help students think
they improve critical thinking and critically.
reading skills, and that they provide
valuable support of diverse student Teachers also agreed that classroom
skill levels and interests in the magazines are an important way to
classroom. Ninety percent of the encourage students to think critically—
surveyed teachers agreed that a key skill they need for success in
magazines are a good educational their education and on standardized
resource for these reasons and more. tests.

• As Morrow and Lesnick found,


Motivation that makes magazines “spark communication,
the difference. debate, and awareness of current
events,” and “classroom instruction
Classroom magazines were found to using magazines can improve
be a key motivator for all students critical thinking and enable students
because they enjoy reading a shorter, to make judgments and form
more “adult” format with colorful opinions.”
pictures and kid-interest topics.

• One second-grade teacher said, “I Support for different levels


can hardly keep my students from of students in the same
tearing open the new editions of
their magazines. They are so eager classroom.
to learn about science, social
studies, and health… I certainly Morrow and Lesnick’s study reports
don’t get the same response, that classroom magazines help
cooperation, or enthusiasm with teachers meet the needs of a diverse
their textbooks.” range of student levels and abilities
in the same classroom.
• The researchers note that “no other
medium can capture children’s • “[Magazines] serve as motivation
for slow and reluctant readers,
705-SDM

interests or expand their worlds as


effectively as magazines” and that while more capable students can

Lesley Mandel Morrow is a professor at Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, where she is the
chairperson of the Department of Learning and Teaching. A recipient of many awards and a prolific author,
she has served as president of the International Reading Association for 2003-2004. Joy Lesnick studied
under Dr. Morrow in the doctoral program at Rutgers University.
use higher levels of reading and
thinking skills.” • “According to reports by teachers,
magazines seem to cater to different
levels and interests. They aren’t
• Additionally, “[Teachers] felt that threatening to students, [and]
having a variety of magazines in consequently they do not feel the
the classroom is helpful in same pressure as when reading a
accommodating the wide range of textbook. Because they are more
reading abilities of their students.” relaxed, they become more
comfortable and confident and
are able to improve their reading
Help for struggling readers. comprehension skills.”

Classroom magazines also function to


encourage and support struggling An important link in the
students and help them become more
confident in their skills. home-school connection.
• “92 percent of…K-6 teachers Classroom magazines encourage
parental involvement in their children’s
reported that magazines are a good
resource for struggling readers education when students bring the
because they contain short articles magazines home to share or talk about
that are motivating. After reading what they read.
the articles, struggling readers feel
a sense of pride since teachers • “Research has shown that
report they can understand them magazines provide a valuable link
and share what they read with between home and school.”
others.”

• As one teacher commented, The results are clear:


“magazines represent a vital tool
for me in teaching students with Classroom magazines are
learning problems.” an invaluable resource.
The majority of surveyed teachers said
An ideal way to improve classroom magazines “span a wide
range of reading levels, contain current
reading skills. information, have a strong literacy
connection within a real-world
Classroom magazines were found to framework, provide choices in reading,
improve students’ reading skills encourage independent reading, and
because they provide a variety of texts create life-long habits of loving
that children want to read. reading.”

• “[Magazines] can encourage Join the thousands of teachers who


students to become strategic have trusted Scholastic Classroom
readers by causing them to employ Magazines for over 80 years and get
a variety of reading strategies for these benefits and more for your
various purposes.” students.

For more information, or for a copy of “Examining the Educational Value of


Children’s Magazines,” call Scholastic Classroom Magazines at 1-800-387-1437.

Morrow, Lesley Mandel, and Joy Lesnick. 2001. Examining the Educational Value of Children’s Magazines. The
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California Reader 34 (2): 2-9.