SSR, Time Trackers, Time Sheets, Book-It, Blogs, & Book Club. These are some of the tools used at Boyce Middle School to encourage all students to spend just a few minutes each day reading. Whether it's a novel, magazine, newspaper, etc., taking this time for reading can not only show an improved frame of reference, but also promote a greater appreciation of reading for pleasure (something many students do not do!) With this in mind, encouraging the students to read in their own time for pleasure is critical for an improved comprehension, reading ability, and enriched vocabulary. Check out the following:
"WHY CAN'T I SKIP MY 20 MINUTES OF READING TONIGHT?"
LET'S FIGURE IT OUT --- MATHEMATICALLY!
Mr. Dudley reads 20 minutes five nights of every week;
Mr. Goofy reads only 4 minutes a night...or not at all!
Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Mr. Dudley reads 20 min. x 5 times a week = 100 mins./week
Mr. Goofy reads 4 minutes x 5 times a week = 20 minutes
Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Mr. Dudley reads 400 minutes a month.
Mr. Goofy reads 80 minutes a month.
Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 10 months/school year
Mr. Dudley reads 4000 min. in a school year.
Mr. Goofy reads 800 min. in a school year.
Mr. Dudley practices reading the equivalent of ten whole school days a year.
Mr. Goofy gets the equivalent of only two school days of reading practice.
By the end of 6th grade, if Mr. Dudley and Mr. Goofy maintain these same reading habits, Mr. Dudley will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days, and Mr. Goofy will have read the equivalent of only 12 school days. One would expect the gap of information retained will have widened considerably and so, undoubtedly, so will school performance. How do you think Mr. Goofy will feel about him/herself as a student?
Some questions to ponder:
*Also, by reading just 15 to 20 minutes a day, a reader would be exposed to over 1,000,000 words in a one year time span!
- Which student would you expect to read better?
- Which student would you expect to know more?
- Which student would you expect to write better?
- Which student would you expect to have a better vocabulary?
- Which student would you expect to be more successful in school....and in life?
Guess you now understand why reading daily is so very important. Why not have family night reading? It is great to just shut off the television for 20-30 minutes and read... and share.
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Education, America Reads Challenge. (1999) "Start Early, Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a Reader." Washington, D.C.