California Educator

February 2013

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P LU S Get this bookmark, resources and more at! READING TAKES YOU PLACES! From ���learning to read��� to ���reading to learn��� Teachers KNOW! Students who fall behind in the early grades have a harder time catching up. Throughout grades K-12, children are building upon their knowledge base and developing grade-level academic skills and understanding. Without a solid base, students struggle and lose con���dence in their abilities. The ���rst knowledge base is the ability to read. Research shows learning to read early is fundamental to a child���s future academic success. A National Association of School Psychologists study found that retention in ���rst grade is correlated more powerfully with reading skills than with IQ. This means many students are held back not for their intelligence level, but for their reading skills. Third graders are not being taught how to read. They are expected to know the fundamentals of reading, and apply their reading skills across the curriculum. Third grade teachers use written text to teach math, history and science. This shift from ���learning to read��� to ���reading to learn��� is extremely dif���cult for children who have not mastered basic reading skills. As they get older, struggling readers struggle academically. A recent study found 74 percent of third-graders who read poorly are still struggling in ninth grade, and high school graduation can be reasonably predicted by third-grade reading scores. Only a generation ago, this did not matter as much as it does today, because the long-term economic effects of not becoming a good reader and not graduating from high school were much less severe. Check out CTA���s keys to becoming a better reader at Want to read more? Check it out. ��� National Association of School Psychologists (2011). White paper: ���Grade retention and social promotion.��� ��� J.M. Fletcher and G.R. Lyon (1998). ���What���s Gone Wrong in America���s Classrooms ��� Reading: A Research-Based Approach.��� ��� National Research Council (1998). ���Preventing Reading Dif���culties in Young Children.��� Reading is an important learning tool 1. First-grade reading scores are fairly reliable predictors of future academic success. 2. By third grade, students are expected to know reading fundamentals and are no longer taught how to read. 3. Many students are held back not for their intelligence level, but for their reading skills. 26 California Educator February 2013

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