Student performance, test scores, and overall academic success have been a focus and a concern for teachers and school administration for years.
Groups of children, individuals, and teachers have been tracked for some time now.
Also, for some time now students who are struggling have receive a type of intervention such as one on one help or tutoring.
However, what is different in today’s schools is the level and age at which students are being targeted.
Until recently, teachers and schools tended to focus mainly on the children who were taking the test (which usually begins at about third grade). Older students received the bulk of the remediation. Lower grades such as kindergarten and first grade were not as frequently considered for tutoring services. These students were thought to not know enough information yet or have enough maturity for intervention strategies.
We have now learned that interventions must begin as early as possible. It is important to early identity students who show signs of struggling. The sooner a child can be reached, the less trouble the student may have in the future.
When teachers and schools wait to get students the help they need, the students fall further and further behind each day. If a child falls behind in kindergarten, he is behind one year. If the child does not receive intervention and moves to first grade, he will be behind two years in lacking kindergarten skills and not being able to continue with first grade skills.
Many schools are now employing reading and literacy leaders to help direct teachers in reading interventions for young students. Teachers and leaders are placing a major focus on kindergarten through third grades. Struggling students in these grades are receiving intensive interventions such as small group or one on one tutoring techniques.
The key idea with today’s students is the earlier the better. If students receive what they need in the primary grades, they will be able to successfully function in higher grade levels.