How long can you read without getting bored? That is what reading stamina is. Psychologists have found that our attention spans are our age plus 2 minutes with a general average about 30 minutes. The more we work on our attention the better it gets.
Teaching Students About Reading Stamina
What are students supposed to be doing during independent reading time?
What are teachers supposed to be doing during independent reading time?
Ask students if they know what the word “stamina” means?
Stamina is the length of time you can read before losing your focus and getting distracted. It is important to work on lengthening this time. An increased reading time improves your learning.
Have parents help their child increase their reading stamina. Parents can do this by spending a little more time reading to them or if they are listening to audio books have them add a few minutes each time.
A great way to train attention and reading stamina is to have the student start reading. When they catch themselves off track, they can put a check mark on their index card (bookmark) at the end of the independent reading period, they would add up their check marks. At the next independent reading period they would do the same thing again with the goal of beating their check mark count. I really find that this is a good way for students to visually see how many times they are finding themselves off track.
Trouble with Stamina
If students are really struggling with stamina with the book they are reading, perhaps they should consider a different book. It is important to also teach children that they should enjoy the book they are reading and they should take the time to look at books from different genres and lengths until they find what feels good to them. Stamina is easier to develop when students enjoy what they are reading. If they are struggling with this – time to teach kids HOW to pick books.