Question: How can teachers quickly measure their elementary students’ attitude toward reading?
Answer: Students react to 20 statements about reading. Each statement if followed by four attitude indicators, featuring Garfield the cat. The first Garfield looks happy. The second Garfield is “slightly smiling.” The third Garfield looks “mildly upset.” The last Garfield wears a definite frown. Here are the 20 statements about reading:
How do you feel when you read a book on a rainy Saturday?
How do you feel when you read a book in school during free time?
How do you feel about reading for fun at home?
How do you feel about getting a book for a present?
How do you feel about spending free time reading?
How do you feel about starting a new book?
How do you feel about reading during summer vacation?
How do you feel about reading instead of playing?
How do you feel about going to a bookstore?
How do you feel about reading different kinds of books?
How do you feel when the teacher asks you questions about what you read?
How do you feel about doing reading workbook pages and worksheets?
How do you feel about reading in school?
How do you feel about reading your school books?
How do you feel about learning from a book?
How do you feel when it’s time for reading class?
How do you feel about the stories you read in reading class?
How do you feel when you read out loud in class?
How do you feel about using a dictionary?
How do you feel about taking a reading test?
Scoring: “To score the survey, count four points for each leftmost (happiest) Garfield circled, three for each slightly smiling Garfield, two for each mildly upset Garfield, and one point for each frowning (rightmost) Garfield. Three scores for each student can be obtained: the total for the first 10 items, the total for the second 10, and a composite total. The first half of the survey relates to attitude toward recreational reading; the second half relates to attitude toward academic aspects of reading.”
Interpreting: “A total score of 50, for example, would fall about mid-way on the scale, between the slightly happy and slightly upset figures, therefore indicating a relatively indifferent overall attitude toward reading.”
Comment: I’m willing to bet that a significant difference will appear between attitude toward recreational reading (the first ten items) and attitude toward reading in school (second ten items). I would especially be interested in how today’s students (2011) feel about reading in general. RayS.
Title: “Measuring Attitude Toward Reading: A New Tool for Teachers.” Michael C. McKenna and Dennis J. Kear. The Reading Teacher (May 1990), 626-639.