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Reservations About Christian Science Monitor Column On “Slow Reading Movement”

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Should your child be learning the art of slow reading? is an article in the Christian Science Monitor. The writer suggests that we focus too much on pushing students to read “faster” and that, instead, recommends that people consider the “slow reading movement.”

I agree that speed isn’t everything. And that when we measure reading fluency my previous post Measuring Reading Fluency), we need to be careful that we are not just pushing students to race through words.

At the same time, though, I’ve found that assessing a student’s fluency — the number of words they can read in a minute — is an important formative assessment tool. A student can be a great practitioner of reading strategies, but in order to be successful at school, he/she has also got to read at a certain speed just in order to be able to have the time to read everything they have to for all of their classes. Reading, and reading high-interests books, I’ve found is the best strategy to make that happen.

I just wish the CSM’s piece provided a little more realistic balance in the story.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Middle School Matters » Blog Archive » On Reading

  2. There is a time and a place for slow reading. I can’t think of many offhand, but still. ;)

    It would have been more instructive, I think, if they’d put a little more time into researching how the mind works when reading, and the variances among children and their personal reading strengths and weaknesses before coming up with a theory that presumably applies to all.

    I hope the article doesn’t get much notice at all. It’s a shame for the readers’ kids, though, if it catches on.

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