kitchen table math, the sequel: today's depressing factoid

Monday, January 8, 2007

today's depressing factoid

Performing at grade level by the end of first grade is critically important for the at-risk child. A study by Juel (1988) showed that the probability that a child who was a poor reader in first grade would be a poor reader in thefourth grade was a depressingly high +0.88.


It's a quadruple whammy for at-risk kids:

There are many at-risk children who are not likely to succeed when placed in widely distributed core reading programs. The problems stem from the programs not being designed with the degree of explicitness needed by the at-risk child. The programs often have serious instructional design flaws. Among these problems are (a) teacher explanations that include words the child does not know and that use sentence structures that are confusing for students with limited knowledge of language, (b) the rate of introduction of new skills is too fast, and (c) sequences that can cause confusion. For example, one program introduced letter–sound correspondences in alphabetical order, resulting in the letters b and d, and m and n being introduced in near consecutive order, and (d) too little practice and review.

From Using Direct Instruction Programs as Intervention Programs in Grades K–3, Direct Instruction News Volume 5, Number 2 Summer 2005

The worst part of this is that all four of these deficiencies are emtirely instructional in nature. It's purely a matter of educators not doing their job properly.

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