The Next Three Months Are Very Important
Now is the time to make decisions about your struggling readers
This is the heart of the school year. We hope you enjoyed the Holidays, but do not forget how important now and the near future will be for your student’s reading progress. Sometime in March or April , many schools will start preparing students for standardized testing. Spring breaks will come and go, and then the actual testing will interrupt the regular schedule. Now is the time to make some important decisions about your students’ reading development.
If you are working with struggling readers, and you have not made much progress since September, you need to consider trying an alternative approach – like the Stevenson Program. If you are already using the Stevenson Program, and your students are having some trouble, please call or email us as soon as possible. We have encountered very few students who do not succeed with Stevenson, even if they have previously failed with several other programs.
In August and/or September, you probably spent considerable time doing preliminary assessments and reviewing material from the previous school year. Since then you have had a couple of concentrated months to apply your current methods and materials. Now you need to ask yourself how well your students are really doing. If you are not satisfied with their progress so far this year, waiting another month or so and hoping for better results is not the best strategy. Although it is never too late to help a struggling reader, by April your opportunities to make progress will be much more limited.
We are not suggesting that you give any lengthy formal assessments now. The most important assessment tool you have is your own judgment. Most experienced teachers (and many first-year teachers as well), instinctively know who is stumbling and who is making steady progress. They know that one group is doing well and another isn’t, or that three of the students in one group are responding well to the current curriculum but two others are stuck. If the students are in the Stevenson Program and they seem stuck, our consultants can usually solve the problem quickly. If your struggling students are not in Stevenson, we can explain how our unusual methods will address their problems.
If you need specific evidence that your students need to change, there are some simple reading inventories you might try, but your own instincts are the most valuable measurement. Even if your pupils have made little progress since the beginning of the school year, there is still time to make major progress before the year ends – BUT you may need to adjust your curriculum soon. You can accomplish much from early January to mid-March, but by the end of that month, your opportunities will start to diminish. If we can help you out please call or email us.