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Even when not lots, some helps.

Here is an interesting situation, a Renaissance Learning the people who make Accelerate Reader report titled What Kids are Reading found that just having struggling readers read for about five minutes a day resulted in measurable improvement.

" found that roughly 200,000 of the 1.4 million fifth graders in its student database began the 2014-15 school year reading at a very low level, among the bottom quarter of fifth graders nationally. Most of them finished the school year in this unfortunate category. But 28 percent of these students somehow got out of the bottom quarter by year’s end. And a smaller subset of those students — five percent of the 200,000 — did something spectacular: in less than a year, they were reading as well as the top 50 percent of fifth graders."

"it does know that these spectacular students read an average of 19 minutes a day on the software. By contrast, the kids who remained at the bottom read only 14.3 minutes a day. Over the course of fifth grade, the catcher-uppers read 341,174 words. That’s 200,000 more words that those who remained strugglers." (Barshay 2015)

Vocabulary Exposure InfographicSo more is better, but some at least does help. One thing then that might be possible for teachers would be to start serializing some text and sending that to their students on a regular/daily basis, adding to that daily reading amount. I've been doing that with some of my undergrads to get them to read, but it can be done with lots of books that are in the public domain and using the student's own smart phone. There are  online services that you could use if you don't want to break up the book yourself, DailyLit and DripRead. Both of these services let you select from a collection and choose the book that will be delivered to your (or a student's) email address on a daily basis.


Both services are free, and DripRead does allow you to upload your own ebooks. For my own classes I had them do a reading analysis to get their average time and then adjusted the amount to be more inline with their reading speed, so that they were reading between 5 and 10 minutes of our text every school day.

Every little bit helps.

Teachers typically recommend students read between 20 and 30 minutes daily. However, reading for just 4.7 minutes each day may help struggling readers improve, according to a recent report of students who practiced reading using the online software program Accelerated Reader. The Hechinger Report (11/16/2015)


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