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Fifth Grade Attitudes Towards Reading

Karin Stefans

Introduction: Goals, details of survey Results of survey Analysis of results: What does this mean for teachers? Final thoughts

Goal: Determine fifth-graders’ attitudes towards reading, and document their other interests Survey administered to fifth-graders at Jeffery Elementary School Boys: 27, Girls: 41, Total students: 68 Likert Scale survey. Example:
I enjoy the books that my teacher assigns us to read. Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 Strongly agree 5

Averaged Student Responses



Likert Scale




















Question Number female male all
10 I like it when my teacher reads out loud to my class. 11. It is good that teachers assign us books to read. 12. If one of my friends tells me s/he liked a book, I will read the book. 13. I never have trouble finding books to read that I like. 14. I like to draw or do art. 15. I like to read. 16. I have a list of books that I would like to read, either written down or in my head. 1. I like school. 2. I am a good reader. 3. I play an instrument or sing in a choir. 4. I enjoy books that my teacher assigns us to read. 5. I watch TV every day. 6. I can speak another language or I am looking forward to learning another language. 7. I like to play sports. 8. I like to read in my spare time. 9. I hang out with my friends a lot.

General Overview of Results
1. Student average about 3.7. Students like school, and there is not a large distinction between whether girls or boys like it better. 2. The girls seem more inclined to think of themselves as good readers. 3. Students seem evenly split as to whether or not they do music. However, many more girls than boys do music (3.9 vs. 2.5) 4. Boys are more likely to like it when the teacher recommends books for them to read.

5. More boys than girls watch TV every day, but overall students answered moderately (3.5). 6. Girls are much more interested in learning languages (or already speak multiple languages). 7. Almost all boys strongly agree that they like sports, but this question got the most student agreement overall (4. 4). 8. Girls are slightly more inclined to read in their spare time, and there was moderate agreement that students want to read in their spare time.

9. While girls are more likely than boys, overall students agree that they like to spend time with their friends (4.3).

General Overview of Results Cont’d
13. Boys have more trouble finding books they like than girls do. 14. More girls than boys agree that they like to do art, but most students enjoy art (4.3). Student agreement with this statement was second only to “I like to play sports.” 15. Very clear distinction that girls like to read more than boys do (3.7 vs. 2.9). Overall, students moderately agree that they like to read (3.4). 16. Students are not very inclined to have a “to read” list.

10. Girls enjoy teacher read-alouds better than boys do, but students agree that they enjoy it when teachers read (3.7). 11. Overall, students do not have a preference of whether or not teachers recommend books. 12. All students reported that had only mild agreement to the statement peer references of books would make them try a book.

Boys’ Favorite Subjects
Gym 48.1% Math 29.6% Art 7.4% Writing 3.7% Spelling 3.7% Reading 3.7% Science 3.7%

Girls’ Favorite Subjects
Art 23.7% Math 23.7% Writing 15.8% Gym 13.2% Reading 7.9% English 7.9% Science 5.3% Social Studies 2.6%

Students’ Favorite Subjects
Gym 27.7% Math 26.2% Art 16.9% Writing 10.8% Reading 6.2% Science 4.6% English 4.6% Social Studies 1.5%

Spelling 1.5%

When asked “What is your favorite subject in school?” :
11% of boys 24% of girls 18.5% of total students reported that reading was among their favorite subjects.

When asked, “What do you do in your free time?” :
33% of boys 55% of girls 46% of total students included reading in their answers.

Analysis and Conclusions of Data
Students believe that they are good readers (ave. student response: 3.9) Student interest in reading is too low, especially for boys (ave. student: 3.4, ave. male: 2.9) Reading is low on a list of favorite subjects (student: 6.2%, male: 3.7%, female: 7.9%) Not enough students include reading in their free time (student: 46%, male: 33%, female: 55%)

What should we do?

Teachers must increase the percentages of students who are voluntary readers. To do this, we must connect reading with other subjects that students enjoy.

Kinesthetic Reading
48.1% of boys say gym is their favorite subject Category with the highest average student agreement (4.4): “I like to play sports.” Kinesthetic learning act out scenes in books learn a game described in the book get out of their seats and move around the classroom - interactive reading

Visualizing Books
“I like to draw or do art” had second highest average student agreement (4.3) Spatial intelligence and visual learning draw characters or scenes illustrate a short story Learn to visualize the story and increase reading enjoyment

Group Contact
“I like to hang out with friends” also had second highest average student agreement (4.3) Students love to talk to each other Reading doesn’t have to be solitary Foster a reading community with group work and group activities

After they like to read in class...
Peer recommendations not as effective as expected (ave. student: 3.3) Boys preferred teacher-suggested books (ave. male: 3.7) As teachers, we must be well-versed in children’s literature and our individual students’ interests so we can make good personal recommendations. “I often read books more for fun, but usually I start out getting a library book and keep reading it, and sometimes I forget I got it for AR.”

Final Thoughts...
“I wish that teachers wouldn’t give us books we HAVE to read for a grade and I wish they would give less homework.” “I read for fun because when you read it feels like you’re in a different world.” “I read books before I go to bed because who doesn’t love a book before bed?” “I want to say kids should read more. If you know how to read you can teach yourself anything.” “I never go an hour without reading a page of a book unless I’m sleeping.” “I’ll only read if I have a good book.”

And finally... “My school needs heated floors and air conditioning.”