In which I explain why the class’s reading scores aren’t quite what I would have hoped … but that at the same time, they’re better than I should have been able to expect … I would argue that the classical methods (phonics drills, class recitation, grammar) I am using with the class had a very positive effect in the face of several difficult situations.
It can be hard being a teacher, when you’re judged by data. The above reading chart shows that the class on average gained a year in reading skills . That is the expectation of administration, and it has been met. However, this interpretation does not fully reflect the situation … my class had a superlative year! If you look at the data in more depth, you would find that ten of the students gained at a 1.5 pace (learning 1.5 months of reading per month of enrolled time) most of the rest gained a year, and two students gained only 6 months, despite all efforts.
Some factors not reflected in istation’s Summary graph …
- Approximately 18 students left and entered the class, many arriving and then again leaving midyear. Only nine remained all year. This is an incredible level of mobility, which stresses everyone.
- Several of the students who left were some of the higher readers.
- At Christmas, four new immigrant children, one of which knew no English, entered the class with very low reading scores. By May, all of these had made a fast rate of progress, gaining 49 points, 27 points, 19 points, and 17 points, where 14 points is a year, in four months.
- The class has at this time six children who have exhibited severe behavior (I began the year with nine). Nevertheless, learning has continued at what I can only call a rapid pace despite various distractions (fellow teachers you know what I am talking about).
Overall, I am proud of our results. At the end of the year, in running record tests, 8 of the children are on level for second grade, eight are six months or less behind, and four are further than 6 months behind. Having begun with only two who were on grade level in September, that is pretty darn good!