Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Home work and Home Reading

My school requires daily homework of all students, and one standard part of that homework is reading. Students are required to read for a given amount each evening. The number of minutes is different in each grade, with 5th and 6th graders being told to read for an hour or more each night.

I have started wondering how this homework requirement is interpreted by various students. As I check out books to students I often ask them about the books they are returning - whether they enjoyed them, and whether they finished them. Many students are not finishing the number of books I would expect if they actually read for the amount of time that they claim.

Last Friday I was talking to a fifth grade girl about this issue. She does all of her homework, but seems to be stuck in a rut, reading two short and easy books each week. I asked her to record the time she began and ended her nightly reading over the weekend. When we talked on Monday I was surprised that she brought me the times, but had not figured out how many minutes those times represented. In the end it turns out she is reading around 20 minutes a night. Tomorrow I will meet with her again. I expect she will be ready for another book!

I suspect that this girl may not be alone, but I would be interested in finding out how students at different ages are doing with their home reading. I have written a survey that I plan to ask all 2nd - 6th grade students to complete. It should give me some interesting data.

The survey can be accessed here