Designed Learning & Designing Learning

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: Sweet, or just totally bored?

by Dr Gail Brown | February 6, 2022
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: Sweet, or just totally bored?

Do you remember reading a book to a child SO MANY TIMES that you were absolutely bored out of your brain? Maybe you read to your student, your child, niece or grandchild…

And, as an adult, have you ever had to read something important more than once, maybe 4-5 times? Maybe a legal document, and you didn’t want to “sign your life away”!

Well, that’s exactly what this post is about – WHY it’s important to repeatedly read something, and the different reasons for doing just that…

No matter how old a child or person is, there is value in reading something more than once.

With young children, even children as old as 9 or 10 years, they sometimes want, or need, to repeatedly read a text. Young children just love the whole experience, on mum, dad or grandparent’s laps, cuddled and read to – what a loving experience! One that starts those children on their “road to reading for life”. Research shows this is true even for babies and one year olds.

Toddlers and students in the early grades of school learn so much from repeated reading of any book, maybe a book with some tactile features (like fur for a teddy bear) or flaps they can open. Here’s a link to a blog post on Read Brightly, with some suggested books for just this purpose. In their early school years, young students learn from the repetition of phonically regular texts when read aloud, this practice is so important, for building knowledge, confidence and automaticity.

Older children and students often need repeated readings of texts, especially factual texts, in History, Geography and Science. These repetitions help them develop deep knowledge of key vocabulary on that topic, words they might not normally hear or read. Without this deep word knowledge, the text doesn’t make much sense to them?

Lastly, I want to link back to a recent post on this website supporting Repeated Reading practice in different ways and referencing Tom Sherrington’s wonderful blog as well. Maybe, repeatedly read this, or check it out if you haven’t. Different ways of repeatedly reading can improve fluency, reading expression and comprehension – just depends on your purpose!

Especially, as your students are starting this new school year, and you want to establish routines, repetition and more repetition are so important!

This post has NO evidence-based research links – to keep things simple and focus on repeated practice. Be very clear, everything in every blog post on this website has evidence-based research support! So, everything has been done somewhere else, by someone, and it worked! Email me if you want any references to evidence-based research for any post!