My two sophomore English classes have been reading a number of short stories over the past two weeks. Today they were assigned a science-fiction story and to mix it up, I told them I wanted them to read it solo. I usually try to vary how we read things in class-from reading with a partner, to class readings, and following along with an audio recording-I like the diversity and the way it makes each class day different.
Reading in class can be painful for some students, so by mixing it up this way, I try to prevent as much of that self-conscious feeling as possible. However, today I really wanted the kids to read the story on their own so I could check their reading comprehension. Makes sense, right?
Well, one of my classes got sidetracked into an intense discussion on reading and reading speed. We spent some time today talking about average reading speeds, skimming, and comprehension. Some of my kids admitted that they have a hard time reading on their own while in school. The pressure of watching other kids reading and flipping pages faster than they do stresses them out.
I never had that problem in school. I have always been a fast reader. I would say that on average, I read 2-3 pages a minute. That changes depending on the material (War and Peace averaged about a page/minute-YA novels can be read 4 or 5 pages/minute). Just the other night I read about 90 pages of The Three Musketeers in about 45 minutes or so.
So it has taken me some time to check the assignments I give my students. My reading speed and comprehension is faster and higher than theirs, so I have to slow it down.
But then I started wondering how fast you all read. As bloggers, reviewers, and dedicated readers, we (in general terms) probably read more than the average person. My questions to you are these: How fast do you think you read? What do you think is an average reading amount? Does reading quicker lower comprehension?
You get the idea, right? I'm curious to see what your answers are!