Schools are Stepping Up their Reading Programs
Students of American Fork High School are speeding up their reading! Their teacher, Laurel Shelley is re-adjusting the student's original reading styles that they've had for the past 10 years, and introducing them to more efficient and easier speed reading techniques.
PR9.NET May 06, 2009 - American Fork High School offers their students the opportunity to participate in after-school speed reading classes. These courses are offered three times per year. "The idea is to help kids read more quickly and comprehend more", said Laurel Shelley. "A lot of kids are reading really slowly. With this class they can get their homework done more effectively and pass the ACT."
The classes involve the use of the 'Focus Reading System', which aims to keep students focused on their task and benefit from eliminating distractions such as the re-reading of information. The students make use of a machine with a set of headphones. The machine sounds out a series of five short beeps, followed by a longer one. These beeps set the pace for reading and the machine can be programmed to increase the speed. Depending on the student, some increase their pace to 10 percent, while others speed up more rapidly. "It is like a glorified metronome," said Shelley. "You will be so focused on reading you won't realize you are speeding up."
Laurel Shelley incorporated some of her own expertise into the speed reading classes. She says that it is just as important to train the brain to be able to remember and retrieve the information, as it is to be able to get the details there in the first place. She encourages students to make notes after they have read the information. "It only takes a couple of minutes, but your comprehension will go up tremendously. It will help you with your study habits and your reading will have some purpose."
According to Shelley, the students will at least double their speed and many of them even triple it. Each lesson is an hour long and there are eight of these sessions in a course. The classes have produced great results.
A student by the name of Eric Wood, gave his testimonial: "I started out with very slow reading," he said. "I had to start in advance to read a book if I wanted to get it done, or else I would have to skip around."
According to Laurel Shelley, the students' comprehension level will be increased along with their reading speed. The technique uses a finger tracking system, allows the eyes a smoother movement and involves the use of both left and right sides of the brain.
Eric Wood stated that he can now read 100 pages in less than two hours and that his grades have improved tremendously. He is also impressed with the method that is used for the extra classes. "The beeping in the machine and headphones over our ears – that sets the pace," he said. "It helps you not to worry about going back and reading words. That really slows you down. You don't look back. That would disrupt the rhythm."
Both the teachers and students are most impressed with the results from their extra speed reading classes. Lets hope that American Fork High School continues to offer their students more than just the average learning skills.
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