Monday, June 08, 2009

Are they Correct?

It's the end of the semester and my Corrective Reading students are as ready as I am to quit the "What word? Next word" mantra. In preparation for next year, I've bee readministering the placement test. By the end of the first few lessons in the B2 and C level courses, it became clear that some of my students should not have been placed in the class. We're trying to correct some mistakes.
So far I've only given the placement test to my B2 students. They are five lessons shy of completing the 65 lessons in that level, and only have one more Mastery test. Most of the students have passed all of the previous five Mastery tests, or perhaps have failed one of them. I figured that my students, especially with the encouragement from the Mastery test success and a pre-test reminder of the test's signifacance to their placement for the fall, would clearly show their improvement.
Not so fast. Here are their results:
1--Tested out of Corrective Reading.
4--Tested into the next level (C).
7--Tested back into level B2 as if they'd never even passed the Mastery Tests.

So I'm confused. How can a student pass the Mastery Tests, and most quite easily, and not then test into the next level? It has been difficult enough to keep these students interested in this monotonous class, but I can't imagine their level of frustration at these results.
I feel like I've implented the program to the best I'd been taught--the PD that goes with the program is two days; I received two hours by the sales person.


At 5:43 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

These results help you understand the quality of (or lack there of) the program. Definitely not suitable for high school level apart from the obvious other failures of the system.
On the What Works site for educators they say only one study of Corrective Reading met their bar. That study says it shows no effect on comprehension. That particular study was of 79 third graders.

So much more to say. Can second language learners 'hear' phonemic nuances in this program? Does it address the high vocabulary development need?

I wonder how other classes will test if the staff member actually followed the script throughout.

and I am sad to consider the time and the money spent on this system for your population.

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At 2:12 PM , Anonymous Joe Bellacero said...

I was in a class with a science teacher with whom I consult. Her “inclusion” class has students that run the gamut from those who came into the class struggling greatly with reading to students who understand a reading at multiple levels simultaneously. On the board were five words important for understanding that she had culled from the day’s reading. The students were instructed to reflect on these words writing down any connections, understandings, uses they could think of for each of them. Soon they were discussing them, laughing about their uses in commercials, video games and family sayings. Together they arrived at workable meanings which they put into their notebook glossaries.
She then had them look at the first line of the reading and make predictions about the focus of the piece. They then did a KWL chart on the water cycle. From which they predicted what the reading would contain. They then read the first subhead to themselves choosing three significant bits of information. They shared these in small groups and made notes on large paper. She chose a reporter from each group—in most cases it was a special education student. If the child stumbled over a word, she wrote that word on the board and had the whole class repeat it.
The class then had to read the second half of the article and write a summary of what they had learned about the water cycle. With five minutes to go in the period she said, “Hands up.” This is something she does often and the kids raise their hands with one finger up if they feel they thoroughly understand, two fingers if they are not sure and three fingers if they are lost. She gave out homework assignments accordingly—one assignment pushing for deeper understanding, one that presented the information through visuals and captions and a third that directed them to youtube to a water cycle song which they had to listen to and copy the words—saying she would have her guitar the next day and lead them in singing it to the class.
THAT is the way high school kids learn to read, to make meaning from what they read, and to feel good about themselves all at the same time—not demeaning scripted programs.

At 8:17 AM , Blogger Jenna said...

As we continue to struggle with finding what works for our students, your experience and reflections have been a great help. Thanks for posting your results.


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