Recently I received a private message from Valorie. Valorie writes in the homeschool section but is very much in touch with education in general. In her message she stated that the school systems in her area were now informing students of their skill levels. She questioned if my area did the same.
We do not inform students of what level that they are working on. The only level that is given to students is their reading level as determined by a STAR test on the computer. This level is an approximate grade level range in which books would best suit the reader.
We also level students in other ways. For example we have two different levels of math classes that eighth grade students can take. One is a higher level and one is a lower level. In some cases students are leveled within the room or for tutoring. However, we do not come out and tell the children how they are leveled. Many just figure it out for themselves. For example, we ability group students within our classrooms for reading group purposes.
I can see both pros and cons of students understanding their skill level. I will first address the pros.
In Valorie’s message she commented on the levels begin numbered such as level one, level two, level three, etc. If a student is aware of what skill level that he or she is currently working on, the student can work more independently. The student will more fully understand where he or she needs to be concentrating. Students can also see the results of their hard work when they move from one skill level to the next.