Cheryl B Stratton wrote:
> I am a math teacher but have some thoughts on speed reading. - mostly
> negative-  :)

On Wednesday, Gary K. Probst wrote:

As a community college instructor who teaches both developmental reading
and mathematics courses, I thought I needed to reply to your comments
regarding speed reading.

All reading courses, to the best of my knowledge, teach students they
must very their reading speed according to what they are reading.
However, to read the large amount of material today it is necessary to
read as fast as possible.

If you are taking five college classes, you have at least five
textbooks.  If the textbooks have an average of 600 pages, you have 3000
pages of textbook reading.  If you have internet and outside reading
assignments, you might have to read 1000 other pages.  This comes to
4000 pages in 15 weeks.  This comes to 266.66... pages a week!

While it is impossible to read over 800 to 900 words a minute according
to authorities, most people read around 200 words a minute.  With a
little effort, just force yourself to read faster, you can double your
reading speed.  Reading is like running.  You become faster by forcing
yourself to go faster for a longer period of time.

I read over 10 computer-assisted instructional journals a month.  I must
read rapidly if I am going to read all the new information that keeps
being published.  If you are a slow reader, you will never be able to
keep current in your profession.

Also, if you read below 200 words a minute, you will have poor
comprehension because of the way the mind processes information through
the sensory and short-term memory.

On of the reasons students read math slowly is that they do not know the
definition of mathematical terms.  Math textbook and instructors do not
stress learning math vocabulary.  A textbook in developmental math, not
algebra, has approximately 300 terms that must be learned.

On all of my math test, I require students to write definition of terms
covered in the test.  They really complain about this.