Today I am writing about the biggest struggle for students in my classroom. Reading. Reading is the number one cause of disruptive behavior in my classroom.
The issue is that in 4th grade we expect students to know how to read.
We shift gears in class and students are expected to use the reading skills they spent the past 9 to 10 years of their lives learning. Unfortunately for our students many of them won’t have the skills to succeed without support and intervention. When my students realize they can’t do the work independently they shut down, distract themselves with off task behavior, and try to derail my lesson.
So how many of my students can I actually expect to be prepared and what does that actually mean?
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tracks students reading ability at 4th, 8th, and 12th grade. They collect data and identify students reading abilities as below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced.
In 2017 32% of 4th graders assessed were identified as having below basic reading ability.
32% Can’t make simple inferences about plot, characters, events, or setting.
32% Can’t locate relevant information in texts.
32% Can’t identify the main purpose.
32% Can’t identify an explicitly stated main idea.
32% Can’t use their understanding of the text to identify details that support a given interpretation or conclusion.
32% Can’t identify a problem in a story and relevant information that supports an interpretation of a text.
32% Can’t gather information from various parts of a text to provide supporting information.
In 2017 31% had the basic skills above, 27% were considered to be proficient, and only 9% of tested 4th graders had advanced reading abilities.
What can we do as teachers to make learning accessible when 63% of our students aren’t prepared to use texts to learn independently?
We have to develop new methods of teaching that promote independence, stamina, and coping skills so that our students succeed.
Join me next time for a lesson in how I differentiate texts and use technology to adapt the resources that I already have.