Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Translation needed.

I've been tutoring a 5th grade NCLB student for two weeks now. He is far, far below grade level in reading comprehension. He is ok in writing and math.

He says he gets A's in all subjects, and a B in science.

HOW ON EARTH IS THAT POSSIBLE? He can't read better than what a 2nd grader is supposed to read! His social studies and science both have heavy, dense reading. I don't even want to imagine what his language arts is like.

But he is obviously an EL student, so he probably gets tracked for language arts - in with the EL group. He is a bright kid. I suppose he can manage an A in a tracked class.

Still. I don't know how healthy that is for the student's academic progress, making him think he is better at something than he actually is. It certainly isn't honest.

Is it brutal that I'm honest with him? I tell him that he's good at math (true). I tell him he needs a lot of work in reading (also true). He works hard, he pays attention, he's improving after only 6 hours of tutoring. He tends to stress out (affective filter!) but I play a lot of games with him and he relaxes. Don't tell the people at the school district office, but I don't really do the mandated curriculum with him. It won't help him, not to pass this year and not for the long term.

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