kitchen table math, the sequel: query for palisadesk and other teachers and parents

Monday, January 2, 2012

query for palisadesk and other teachers and parents

As some of you know, I've been teaching freshman composition at a local college. I'm interested in hearing more about this category of readers:
The last group [of children experiencing the fourth-grade slump], which Jeannette Chall discusses in some detail, are students whose language skills generally are weak and who thus cannot make the jump from reading simple, literal text to more complex material, even when they decode well. While vocabulary is often mentioned as the key factor, I have not found this to be the case. Language comprehension generally – understanding of complex syntax, subordinate clauses, connecting words, subjunctive, pronoun referents, temporal sequence, idiomatic expressions – the list goes on. There are some good DI programs for developing the needed language skills, but this kind of “Fourth Grade Slump” requires a more long-term approach.
Worth revisting: Arthur Whimbey's zoonoses test.

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