Monday, February 19, 2007

You call that wide reading?

I previously mentioned Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich's article What Reading Does for the Mind and will be making several posts from this research. They cited a study done by Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1988) which analyzed the out-of-school time use by fifth graders. Here are some highlights. The average student was reading about 5 minutes a day which equates to 282,000 words a year. If you improve that reading to 21.1 minutes a day you will read over 1.8 million words a year. Only 10% of the students in that study were reading at that rate. Imagine if we could get every student to read a paltry 30 minutes a day - which I believe most teachers "assign" regularly!! What would be the impact on vocabulary development, knowledge, and ability.

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