Five Ways Using Magazines in the Classroom Improves Student Performance

Library Resources | May 10, 2016

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See five ways that magazines are making a difference for student success in the classroom.

According to the recently released 2016 Building a Grad Nation Report, high school graduation rates in the U.S. are at an all-time high of 82.3 percent.

To reach the goal of helping students achieve a higher rate of completion, schools are turning to a variety of resources, both high tech and low tech to engage students and help them perform better in class and on high stakes assessments. For many schools, this involves the use of magazines in the classroom. Here are five ways that magazines are making a difference for student success in the classroom:

Engagement

Arguably the biggest hurdle to student learning is lack of engagement. Magazines, by their nature, cover a range of topics to capture the interest of readers of all ages in a format that is fun and appealing. Many include games, puzzles and quests that help reinforce key concepts in a fun yet challenging way.

Manageable Chunks of Information

According to several articles, the human brain has limitations in the amount of information it can consume and retain at a given time, so “chunking” content into logical segments leads to higher retention. Unlike the classic basal textbook, magazines provide students and teachers with self-contained learning segments that are less threatening and easier for students to absorb and learn.

Accessibility

With the growing number of non-native speakers in classrooms, a clear recognition that any given classroom can include many different levels and types of learners, accessibility of content is a key topic in learning. Highly visual and designed to engage and welcome readers, magazines have been successful in reaching visual learners and students who require additional language support.

Practice in Informational Reading

Although state standards and the Common Core vary in their specific standards benchmarks, one constant is the recognition of the importance of informational reading. While many classrooms have a variety of novels and books, nonfiction texts outside of classroom textbooks are harder to find. Magazines as well as newspapers offer an easy way to integrate short, age-appropriate informational reading into classroom instruction.

Builds Background Knowledge Through Nonfiction

While many studies have shown the relationship between reading skills and student success, recent studies have shown that what students read can make an even greater impact. According to a study published in Educational Leadership, nonfiction reading not only helps students develop research skills and the ability to read complex texts, it helps build the background knowledge shown to play a factor in students’ success in content area reading later in their education.

Whether students are accessing magazines in print or digitally through platforms such as EBSCO’s Flipster®, digital magazine newsstand, it’s clear that magazines are making a difference for student success in the classroom.

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