After the special services teacher benchmarked all of my students, I now have five groups of students with a ridiculous range of reading levels. I literally have more students in the first grade reading range than the second grade range and I have one student reading already reading at a third grade level.
Within our grade levels we already group students by ability level for math and reading. And while most of the groups are fairly consistent, I will say there are a couple of low readers that are good at math and a couple of high readers that struggle in math.
But given the wide range of abilities, why bother having grade levels at all? My low readers would benefit much more working with at-level first graders. Just as I’m sure there are smart first graders that could benefit to work with second graders.
I know there are schools that have mixed grades, but even that I feel like isn’t enough. I really feel like having standards per grade level tied to a student’s age is antiquated. We’re already going to test every child, why not just use their test scores to put them in a classroom.
If I had a classroom where all of my students were at the same reading level I could have such a better impact. Instead I spent so much time finding leveled readers for five different reading groups and pulling groups aside that I rarely have time to teach to the whole class.
Let’s face it, reading is the most important part of grade school. If you can read and comprehend, then every other subject is easier.
Math is a good skill because it develops a different part of the brain, but let’s face it. After you grasp arithmetic, the rest is just a complicated game with confusing rules where most of the time you can cheat if you have the right technology.
If I were running the school, reading skills would be the only thing that I would work on. What good are scientists if they can read and understand scientific texts?
In personal news, Colin and I are still texting. We made plans to hang out this weekend.
I haven’t heard from Johnny.
Oh, and I talked to my mom. She and Lou are completely fed up with Daryl. Apparently he’s failing most of his classes and wants to drop out. She also said that he always smells like pot and that Lou has taken away his cell phone and laptop and is considering locking him in his room to force him to do his homework. She suggested that I let him stay at my place for the weekend. Maybe I can talk some sense into him being as I’m an example of a successful college graduate with an adult job and all. I just laughed. The last thing that would help a young punk like Daryl was to drop him off in a city crawling with drugs and lifelong punks just like him.