What do these Numbers Mean to You?

A teacher recently walked into my office with a big grin on his face and handed me a sheet that had the following numbers on it:

  • 150,054
  • 151,237
  • 150,748
  • 2,501
  • 2,439, and 
  • 2,692
You are probably wondering what these numbers mean and why he would be so proud to hand these numbers over to me.  Any guesses?  Here’s a hint….
Richard Allington, in his book “What Really Matters in Response to Intervention Research-Based Designs” states that “Reading is like every other human activity in that the amount of practice really matters, especially the amount of reading done while reading proficiency is being developed.”  He emphasizes how the research strongly supports the role of volume in building reading proficiency, especially when students are engaged in reading high-success texts for extended periods of time. These high success texts are what we often refer to with students as “Just Right Books” as they are within their independent reading level.  Therefore, they are not too hard as to create frustration or a breakdown in comprehension.
As a school, our literature department has really made a concerted effort to get kids reading independently on a daily basis to maximize our students’ reading success.  It is during this actual reading that they can practice and simultaneously pull together the complicated strategies and skills they have been learning in the classroom.  Reading volume improves fluency, comprehension, and world knowledge.
If you haven’t already guessed it, the numbers above represent the number of pages read by the different grade levels for second quarter and how that factors into an average number of pages read per student.  During second quarter alone, the 6th graders read a combined total of 150,054 pages, or 2,501 pages per student.  7th grade read a total of 151,237 pages, or 2,439 pages per student.  8th graders, being the wonderful role models that they are for our school, read a combined total of 150,748 pages, or 2,692 pages per student! We have far surpassed the half million mark for the year.  Give your child, grandchild, or any other acquaintance you may have with an OMS student, a big pat on the back for a job well done!
Sherri Stengel