Wednesday, December 8, 2010

January-Reading Rate

Many children are considered for Title I Reading because they have a low reading rate. Why is it important how fast or how slow a student reads? The answer involves reading comprehension. Reading comprehension can be affected when we read too fast or too slow.

Reading comprehension is understanding what is read. Reading comprehension is remembering what is read. Reading comprehension is important. It can be affected by fluency, reading rate and accuracy.

Consider reading rate.
When a student cannot identify a word or identifies it incorrectly, he may miss the meaning of what he is reading. When a reader identifies a word correctly but slowly, he can also miss the meaning of what he is reading. Reading rate is the speed at which a reader reads. We measure it in words per minute (WPM). We do not want students to read too fast or too slow.

How do we decide who reads too slow? The following rates are considered average when reading grade level material at about the middle of the school year.

First grade: 54 wpm
Second grade: 78 wpm
Third grade: 93 wpm
Fourth grade: 112 wpm
Fifth grade: 118 wpm

How to determine reading rate.
To determine reading rate we have each student in your child's grade read the same passage aloud to an instructor. We time these readings and then compare scores to what is considered average at that grade level. In our school district we do this for grades 1-5 three times a year.

How can you help a student with a low reading rate?
1. Sometimes a marker under each line helps accuracy and speed. When working on speed move the marker slightly faster than the student's normal reading rate.
2. Practice vocabulary and high frequency words until they are recognized on sight rather than by sounding out.
3. Use material that can be read fast (an easy book from last year). Always follow with comprehension questions. Let your student keep a chart of his results.
4. Use material that the student enjoys. Let him choose passages he enjoys for practice.